Shops in Dorset urged to stop selling disposable barbecues

A campaign calling for retailers in Swanage and across the county to remove disposable barbecues from their shelves has been launched by Litter Free Dorset.

Shops in Swanage including the Co-op and Budgens are continuing to sell disposable barbecues despite pleas not to, following last summer’s numerous fires caused by people not disposing of the items safely.

Retailers in Purbeck

Some retailers in Purbeck have already signed up to the campaign and these include Costcutter in Swanage, Studland Stores, Norden Farm Shop and Holme for Gardens near Wareham.

The Wareham Forest Fire was started in May 2020 by disposable barbecues or a campfire, destroying an area the size of over 200 football pitches and killing rare wildlife.

Barbecues at Wareham fire
DW Fire and Rescue
Firefighter tackling the Wareham Forest Fire
DW Fire and Rescue

Environmental damage

In Dorset, there are on average 400 outdoor grass related fires on heathlands and forests every year. While not all wildfires are caused by disposable barbecues, the campaign is aimed at reducing the risk of heathland fires and the consequential environmental damage.

According to Litter Free Dorset, over a million disposable barbecues were sold in the UK last year.

Litter Free Dorset says it has already had conversations with local shops as well as large supermarket chains such as Tesco’s, Co-op, Waitrose and Sainsburys, although they continue to sell disposable barbecues.

Coose to remove barbecue poster

Poster campaign by Litter Free Dorset

“Stop selling disposable barbecues altogether”

Sophie Colley from Litter Free Dorset said:

“A huge thank you goes to the businesses that have already taken it upon themselves to stop selling disposable barbecues altogether. If you are still selling disposable barbecues please reconsider removing them and displaying safety messaging next to any other barbecue related items.”

Poster about disposable barbecues

A poster for shops that have removed disposable barbecues from their shelves

Persuade local shops

To encourage retailers in Dorset to choose to remove disposable barbecues from their shelves, Litter Free Dorset is providing resources on its website, to help residents persuade their local shops to stop selling them, including a letter to send to retailers and posters.

The names of Dorset retailers that have already removed disposable barbecues are being added to a list on the Litter Free Dorset website. Shops that wish to be added to the list should email Litter Free Dorset.

Information campaign about the hazards

This year, Dorset Council voted to back an information campaign about the hazards of disposable barbecues and has banned disposable barbecues and campfires from high fire risk areas across Dorset owned land including Durlston Country Park in Swanage.

It decided not to introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) which could have legally enforced a ban on the use of disposable barbecues across all public areas in Dorset.

However it has said that a PSPO will have to be considered if the measures this year, fail to persuade retailers not to sell disposable barbecues and people continue to use them in public spaces.

Further information

More about Litter Free Dorset’s ‘Choose to remove’ campaign is on its website

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