Morrisons becomes latest supermarket chain to restrict sales of disposable barbecues

Stores near the Brecon Beacons will no longer stock disposable barbecues. Credit: Jon Pimm

Supermarket chain Morrisons will stop selling disposable barbecues at stores within one mile of a national park, the company has announced.

There are long-standing concerns over the impact on the environment and wildlife, with data suggesting the barbecues are to blame for a large number of the UK's accidental fires.

Morrisons joins a number of other supermarket chains in the UK that have announced restrictions on disposal barbecue sales.

In a statement, the company said stores near the Brecon Beacons will no longer stock the items, along with other areas including the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the Norfolk Broads.

Morrisons is the latest supermarket chain to announce restrictions on disposable barbecues. Credit: PA Images

A spokesperson said: "I can confirm that this year, Morrisons is removing disposable and portable barbecues from all of its stores that are within one mile of a national park.

"Over 3,000 disposable barbecues were sold by Morrisons stores in or adjacent to national parks during the summer months in 2021.

"Despite many customers using the items correctly, the items risk fire or damage to the local environment if not extinguished and disposed of properly."

Jon Pimm, the project officer for Brecon Beacons National Park, tweeted to say it was "great news", adding: "Well done Morrisons".

The Co-op stopped sales of disposable barbecues from UK stores within a mile radius of a national park in June last year.

Last month, Aldi became the first supermarket to remove them from sale in all stores.

Waitrose has also committed to ending the sale of all disposable barbecues and removing them from all of its 331 supermarkets.

Now the UK government is considering whether all retailers should follow suit.

Home Office data shows "about 4% of accidental primary fires can be robustly linked to barbecue use", according to environment minister Victoria Prentis, and the true figure is likely to be even higher.

Disposable barbecues are a hot topic due to environmental and safety concerns. Credit: PA Images

"Disposable barbecues, if used correctly, do not, in themselves, pose a wildfire risk," the minister said.

"It is when they are left unattended, or used recklessly, that the risk occurs. It is clear to me that we do not have enough data on the role that disposable barbecues play in wildfire incidents. 

"However, anecdotal evidence… suggests that they have been responsible for a number of serious incidents."

Some areas of the UK already have measures in place banning or restricting the use of disposable barbecues.

This includes Brighton and Hove, where the local council decided to use the threat of a £100 fine for anyone found using one in a public place.

The ban there was imposed after a disposable barbecue was said to be the cause of a large fire at a Brighton tip in summer 2019.