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Are disposable BBQs fuelling deforestation?

Geoff Riley

23rd July 2018

The provenance of products is increasingly important for consumers - consider for example growing demand for fish caught from sustainable sources. But what about the origin of the charcoal in your disposable BBQ?

According to this report from the BBC, the United Nations estimates that the UK imported nearly 90,000 tonnes of charcoal last year, up from around 70,000 tonnes in 2016. The charcoal came from different places, including Nigeria and Paraguay where deforestation is a major issue. It is becoming increasingly difficult to ascertain whether charcoal imported into the UK has flowed from certified sustainable forests. The article also states that, "of all the wood used as fuel worldwide, about 17 % is converted to charcoal" and demand for charcoal is rising in many countries and not just in the UK as seasonal demand in the current heatwave encourages many of us to the supermarkets and petrol forecourts to buy some disposable grills.

Geoff Riley

Geoff Riley FRSA has been teaching Economics for over thirty years. He has over twenty years experience as Head of Economics at leading schools. He writes extensively and is a contributor and presenter on CPD conferences in the UK and overseas.

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