Co-op Has Stopped Selling Disposable Barbecues Near National Parks
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The Co-op has taken the decision to stop selling disposable barbecues at stores located in the vicinity of UK national parks in order to help support bans and stop wildfires.
The community retailer has said that its130 shops that fall within a one-mile radius of any national park will stop selling the products, reports the BBC.
The move follows a campaign that has been led by former Co-op employee, Hannah Mitchell, from Penrith in Cumbria, following many incidents of littering and anti-social behaviour in the Lake District.
This comes as police investigate fresh reports that a group chopped down trees to use as fire wood at Wastwater in Cumbria last weekend, with officers now treating the incident as suspected criminal damage.
Ms Mitchell, who is now a writer and environmental campaigner, got in touch with her former employer to ask them top consider the disposable barbecue ban after seeing the issues caused as thousands of people travelled to the Lake District earlier this year.
While she welcomed tourists who were keen to get outdoors and experience the area’s outstanding natural beauty, she said there had been issues caused by a minority.
"What we did see was a spate of sort of anti-social behaviour in the form of littering and environmental damage, and a big culprit amongst that was disposable barbecues," she said.
"I felt like it was sort of a bit of a moral responsibility of theirs to mitigate further damage by restricting the sales of these things in rural areas such as the Lake District."
She added that she did not want to see a total ban on barbecues, but was hoping that the move would lessen the occurrences and impact of fires, and that it could also help to address ‘single-use culture’.
"I think first and foremost the word disposable in the title of that product is problematic in itself," she said.
"They can be very damaging if used irresponsibly and the damage that we have seen in our national parks, sadly, it is perpetrated by a small minority.”
The Fire and Rescue Service in Derbyshire has also previously called on shops in the Peak District to stop selling disposable barbecues after a series of fires in the area.
A warning was issued in April not to light barbecues following two moorland fires that broke out after witnesses reported seeing people cooking near a footpath.
The Co-op said millions of instant barbecues were sold each year and while the ‘vast majority’ are used safely, it was supporting local bans by national parks and landowners.
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