Brits could be facing a ban on the use of disposable barbecues this summer in efforts to cut the risk of wildfires.
Although the grills may be a staple of British summertime culture, with over a million estimated to be bought in the UK each year, they have certainly been the subject of much discussion in recent years due to a number of environmental and sustainability concerns.
Disposable barbecues not only typically contain single-use plastic, but also charcoal which is often not sustainably-sourced, and cannot be can’t be recycled or composted.
Because of these concerns, supermarket retailers Waitrose and Aldi last month made the decision to stop selling them in order to protect forests and wildlife, and Brighton and Hove City Council was one of the local authorities which voted overwhelmingly to ban them from the area’s beaches and parks as part of its strategy to tackle climate change.
Also, in a bid to prevent devastating wildfires from occurring in some of the country’s best-loved nature reserves and green spaces, the Co-op last year banned the selling of disposable barbecues in any of its stores within a one-mile radius of a national park.
And now, it seems like further action could soon be taken on a national scale.
It comes after environment minister Victoria Prentis told a House of Commons debate this week that the government was commissioning research to examine the role that disposable barbecues play in wildfires, as the latest data from the Home Office is said to suggest that around 4% of accidental fires can be linked to barbecue use.
This does not, however, differentiate between the use of a barbecue in a home or at a place like a public park or beach.
She crucially said it’s “when they are left unattended or used recklessly that the risk occurs”.
Ms Prentis continued: “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 – not least in this debate – suggests that they have been responsible for a number of serious incidents.”
Labour MP Holly Lynch – who led the Commons debate – was also sure to highlight the 75 wildfires that West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has already attended this year, and added that “a significant number are caused by careless and reckless use of disposable barbecues on our moorland.”
She said a ban on disposable barbecues “would have an instant and transformative effect in protecting our moorland” and would help to “safeguard” them and our communities in the years ahead.
Mike Amesbury, a local government spokesperson for the Labour party, too called on the Department for Environment during the debate to “step up and become more proactive in tackling this growing problem”, adding: “That should include consideration of whether disposable barbecues should be banned from sale entirely.
“The government certainly needs to encourage the small minority using barbecues in appropriate locations to be more responsible.
“And think of the potential consequences for people, the environment and livestock.”
Featured Image – Instant BBQ
Wrexham AFC announce Manchester United friendly with hilarious Sir Alex Ferguson video
Manchester United confirmed that they would be playing Wrexham AFC as part of their US tour on Tuesday, but the Welsh club’s Hollywood owners had a much better way of announcing the pre-season friendly.
While the Red Devils put out a simple statement revealing that one of their games would come against the resurgent Red Dragons, Wrexham‘s celebrity owners in Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney once again decided to put their acting to good use and inform their own fans of the upcoming match.
So, what’s the best way for a National League club to announce a massive fixture with one of the biggest sporting franchises in the world? Well, ideal scenario: getting a United legend and perhaps the greatest football manager of all time to help you do it would have quite the impact. Surely not?…
Yes, somehow, Rob and Ryan managed to convince Sir Alex Ferguson to be in the video and while they’re the ones known for their funny bones, it’s the gaffer who shines as the star of the show.
So good. We almost thought we were staring at a still image at one point and the gag was going to be along the lines of him not even being there while they wonder, ‘is he frozen’?, but the punchline was the perfect level of dry for Scotsman who is literally known for his infamous ‘hairdryer’.
Now, we’ve seen plenty of parodies and funny videos since the acting, writing and comedy-producing duo first bought the club back in November 2020, but I think it’s fair to say we never expected to see Sir Alex in a sketch.
Obviously, we’ve seen countless commercial ads involving United down the year working — including that time the players met Deadpool himself (remember that?) — but we can’t remember the legendary coach ever getting involved with these kinds of shenanigans before.
Suppose retirement has given him the free time to focus on the things he enjoys: i.e. more United.
As detailed in the video and United’s tour teaser at the start of the week, the two teams will be playing in a pre-season friendly at the Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego on July 25 later this year.
Not only will there be plenty of American Reds piling through the doors this summer, but there’s also sure to be a fair few transatlantic Wrexham supporters too, as the story of the club’s takeover has captured the attention of millions, especially after their hugely popular documentary series.
To make things even cooler, it isn’t the only connection between the Devils and the Dragons we’ve seen of late either, as former United keeper and Premier League veteran Ben Foster came out of retirement to sign for Wrexham 18 years on from his previous loan spell. What a coup
Reynolds even popped up in his latest matchday vlog. Wrexham really is one of the strangest sporting stories we’ve witnessed in quite some time.
And that’s just part of the first wave of celebrity contestants – more famous faces will take part in I’m A Celebrity… South Africa, entering the camp as the series goes on.
The new series will ‘push them to their limits and test them like never before’, ITV has said, promising bigger and tougher challenges and an even harsher environment.
Also taking part from the launch episode will be Diversity star Jordan Banjo, TV presenter Carol Vorderman, Olympian Fatima Whitbread, former royal butler Paul Burrell, ex-England cricketer Phil Tufnell, and supermodel Janice Dickinson.
ITV said: “Whilst nodding back to the Australian jungle, I’m A Celebrity…South Africa is a uniquely different series so viewers can look forward to lots of unexpected twists and turns.”