When the party is over, bin the barbecue with care!
25 June 2010
Keep Britain Tidy’s ambassador Kirstie Allsopp is calling on people to show some thought and clear away their disposable barbecues safely.
With the sun shining and prospect of lazy summer days on the beach or in the park, the thoughts of many turn to that now thoroughly English summer pursuit – the barbecue.
But this year Keep Britain Tidy has noticed a worrying trend – those cooking their sausages and burgers on disposable barbecues in public places are doing the barbecuing but not the disposing!
The number of complaints received by the charity about the throwaway barbecues is rising – with people reporting injuries caused by used barbecues thoughtlessly left on beaches or in parks and green spaces.
Last summer, Keep Britain Tidy was contacted by the mother of a four-year-old boy who had to have emergency surgery on his leg after he cut it on the metal grill of a disposable barbecue left on a beach.
The Jackson family from Kings Langley were on holiday when Andrew, four, was injured while playing in the sand dunes at Formby Point, near Liverpool, with his sister.
His mother Sandra said: ‘We’d only been on the beach for 20 minutes when Andrew was hurt by a metal grill that was buried in the sand.
‘He had to have an emergency operation at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool and, thankfully, he has made a full recovery, apart from the scar which will be with him for life.
‘It could have been so much worse. It could have been his face instead of his leg or it could have severed a major artery.
‘A sight I still haven't cleared from my nightmares is the whiteness of the bones of my son's leg.’
Mrs Jackson appealed to people to think about others when they’ve finished with the barbecue: ‘This could have killed Andrew so please clear up after yourselves and don’t leave disposable barbecues where children can be injured by them. We were lucky but someone else may not be.’
In order to try to prevent other children being injured in a similar way this summer, Keep Britain Tidy is urging everyone to stop and think before abandoning their disposable barbecue on the beach or in the park.
Keep Britain Tidy’s ambassador TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp said: ‘It is vital for our beaches, parks and open spaces to be clean and safe places for families to enjoy.
‘People who leave litter behind are showing no thought for the safety and enjoyment of others using our public spaces.
‘There is nothing my children and I enjoy more than a barbecue in the sunshine on the beach, but we must clear up after ourselves.’
Keep Britain Tidy has also had reports about people who have done ‘the right thing’ - putting the barbecue in a bin when they clear up - but, unfortunately, they have been premature with their disposal and the hot barbecue has melted the plastic litter bin.