Cheap single use BBQs on our beach? – We want your views

We’re launching a consultation on whether or not people should be allowed to use single use, throw away barbeques on our beaches or in parks and open spaces.
 
Some media reports last March wrongly claimed we were planning to ban all barbequing in these public areas.

However, this is not correct as the consultation is only about the use of cheap, ‘use once and throw away’ barbeques. It is not about banning proper, portable barbeques that can be taken home after being used.

Proper portable barbeques will still be allowed

Proper portable barbeques will still be allowed on certain beaches, parks and open spaces, as they are now. 
 
The consultation also asks views on whether people should be allowed to let off balloons and so-called ‘sky lanterns’ into the atmosphere which can harm animals, the environment and, in the case of lanterns, cause fires.
 
There is also a question on whether people should be fined £100 if they breach any ban that may be introduced, depending on the outcome of the consultation.

The questionnaire comes after complaints from concerned residents about people leaving single use, often still hot, barbeques on our beaches, parks and open spaces. A fire was caused in the Cityclean depot from a barbeque in 2019. 

Residents also want action against balloons and sky lanterns 

Other residents have asked us to take action on balloons and sky lanterns, after reports of people letting them off in public spaces.
 
The council, and many other organisations and individuals, believe single use, disposable barbeques are problematic for the environment and the council, including:

  • posing a dangerous fire risk when in use and if not disposed of correctly 
  • presenting a risk of injury to people and animals
  • if not set up correctly, they can scorch and damage the environment around them
  • when not disposed of it means the taxpayer has to pay for the tidy up

Lanterns and balloons are also problematic for the environment and council because:

  • both return to the ground as litter and can be ingested by animals, birds and marine wildlife, causing risk of death, injury and entrapment 
  • they’re impossible to dispose of in a safe way as the owner has no way of finding it, once released  
  • for lanterns, there is no way of ensuring it is extinguished before reaching the ground and can therefore cause a fire.

Animal charities want sky lanterns banned

Animal charity the RSPCA has already joined forces with the National Farmers Union (NFU), National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and 16 other like-minded organisations calling for sky lanterns to be completely banned under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
 
It says when sky lanterns are ingested, sharp parts like the wire frame can tear and puncture an animal's throat or stomach causing internal bleeding. 
 
Animals can also become entangled in fallen lantern frames, where they can suffer from injury and stress trying to get free or starve to death from being trapped. Marine life is also endangered by lanterns falling into the sea.

'Many reasons for stopping their use'

Councillor Jamie Lloyd, deputy chair of the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “There are many reasons for stopping the use of single use, disposable barbeques, balloons and lanterns in our public places.
 
“All three are dangerous to animals and the environment, while disposable barbeques are hazardous to children and adults if left on the beach or not disposed of properly.
 
“All three also create a great deal of waste that is very difficult and expensive for the council, and therefore taxpayers, to collect.”

'Consultation is extremely important'

Councillor Lloyd added: “People are of course divided about any proposals to stop the use of single use barbeques on the beach, park or open spaces, so this is why we want to consult people.
 
“Once the questions are answered, people can leave further feedback as we are open to suggestions from residents about the best way forward for being able to barbeque safely for ourselves and the environment.

'Supermarkets should stop selling disposable barbeques'

“I want today to call on supermarkets and other retailers to stop selling this dangerous type of barbeque, and if there’s support for banning single use barbeques from our beaches, parks and open spaces we will begin putting extra pressure on.” 
 
The consultation on barbecauses, lanterns and balloons is open until Sunday 2 January 2022.

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