Words by Ritika Srivatsan, Staff Writer

Pebbled shores, picturesque views and a beautiful promenade make Brighton beach a perfect venue to host a barbecue. However, disposable barbecues have recently drawn flak for negatively impacting the environment and being hazardous. Therefore, the Brighton and Hove City Council have launched a consultation on whether people should be permitted to employ single-use, throw-away barbecues on the beach or not.

In an incident from February earlier this year, smoke was seen rising from a garbage can in King’s Esplanade, Hove, after a disposable barbecue caught fire because it had not cooled down fully. Firefighters extinguished the blaze but it showcased the danger surrounding the object.

Arguing in favour of banning single-use barbecues, the deputy Chair of the Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, Councillor Jamie Lloyd, said: 

“There are many reasons for stopping the use of single-use disposable barbecues in our public places. Disposable barbecues are hazardous to children and adults if left on the beach or not disposed of properly. It also creates a great deal of waste that is very difficult and expensive for the council, and therefore taxpayers, to collect.”

Lloyd is aware of the broad spectrum of opinions present and wants to consult people before the council takes a decision. He also urged supermarkets to stop selling unsafe disposable barbecues and added, ‘if there’s support for banning single use barbecues from our beaches, parks, and open spaces we will begin putting extra pressure on.’

The argument put forward by the council states the following:

  1. They (Single-use barbecues) pose a significant fire risk when in use and if not disposed of correctly – there have been many times when they have caused bins and the surrounding area to catch fire
  2. They present a risk of injury to people and animals, particularly on the beach and in open spaces
  3. They can scorch and damage the environment around them if they are not set up correctly
  4. The taxpayer has to pay for the tidy up when not disposed of

This in turn leads to a significant increase in costs for the council whilst affecting fellow residents and the environment alike.  

The council proposes the following:

  1. The use of single-use, disposable barbecues should not be permitted in or on council-owned parks, open spaces, and the seafront
  2. 2. Appropriate enforcement measures should be introduced

It is suggested that Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) must be introduced to curb the usage of single-use barbecues and maintain checks and balances. A PSPO aims to improve the quality of life for residents in specific neighbourhoods. Under the act, an officer may issue a Fixed Penalty Notice if any individual is found flouting the rule.

An online survey acting as a tool used by the council to receive feedback opened on 15th November 2021 and can be accessed on the Brighton and Hove City Council website. It remains open to all for eight weeks, until the 2nd of January 2022.

Apart from the hazardous disposable barbecues, residents and animal charities such as The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have also demanded action against sky lanterns and balloons, stating them to be life-threatening. The second section of the proposal focuses on this.

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