The Tidy Britain All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) came together recently to discuss the issue and explore how we can make the summer of 2022 a historical anomaly rather than an annual disaster.
Over the summer there were more than 700 wildfires across the UK which, collectively, burned 77 sq miles of land that will take decades to recover.
Climate scientists from the London School of Economics’ Grantham Institute declared this year that the UK is no longer a cold country: extreme temperatures are becoming more common and, combined with flaming litter, pose a real risk to nature, people and property.
The APPG was fortunate to be joined by Selaine Saxby MP, who has taken real leadership within this policy area since her constituency of North Devon was ravaged by fires over the summer.
Her Ten-Minute Rule Motion looks to place restrictions on disposable BBQ use and Keep Britain Tidy has been working to bring MPs from both sides of the House together to represent the safety of their constituents and the environment and support the Motion.
On July 19, 2022, wildfires sprung up across London, with London Fire Brigade recording 1,146 incidents on what was its busiest day since the Blitz.
Greg Ashman, Deputy Assistant Commissioner at the LFB, spoke to the meeting about their experience and how devastating the consequences of drought mixed with unregulated use of combustibles can be. As a result of their experiences, the Brigade has since called for a total ban of all disposable BBQs.
Keep Britain Tidy is at the forefront of the fight to protect people, nature and public spaces.
At the meeting, Keep Britain Tidy’s CEO Allison Ogden-Newton OBE called on the Government to #BanTheFlamingThings. She shared the results of a recent survey answered by 104 local authorities. Of these, 83% said that disposable BBQs cause significant issues for them, and 87% would like to see government intervention to help them tackle these issues. The full survey is available here.
With a motion in Parliament and calls to action from environmental groups, fire services and MPs, there is a real chance that this meeting can catalyse real change and protect nature from future devastation.