A SUPERMARKET has banned the sale of so-called 'forest friendly' disposable barbecues in all of its Dorset stores after residents raised concerns its marketing could spark an increase in wildfire risks.

Tesco has confirmed it will no longer sell the zip forest friendly barbecue tray in any of its Dorset stores.

The messaging refers to the charcoal being sustainably sourced - but Litter Free Dorset had raised concerns it could encourage people to light them in forests.

Last year, a blaze ripped through around 220 hectares of forest and heathland in Wareham Forest - an incident which was described as 'one of the most devastating fires in Dorset in living memory' by a senior officer in the fire service - which was believed to have been started by a disposable barbecue.

Litter Free Dorset, a community campaign aiming to reduce the social, economic, and environmental impacts of litter, launched the #ChooseToRemoveDisposableBBQs campaign at the beginning of the month to discourage supermarkets and shops from selling disposable barbecues.

Campaigners are thrilled that Tesco has agreed to ban the sale of those barbecues with the 'forest friendly' marketing tag in all of its stores across Dorset.

A spokesman for Tesco said: "Due to specific local concerns about the use of these products in Dorset we have suspended the sale of some barbecue products in Tesco stores in Dorset and in and around the New Forest.

"We are a responsible retailer and encourage our customers to use disposable barbecues safely and dispose of them properly. We have very clear instructions on how to do so on the packaging of those that we sell."

Sophie Colley, Litter Free Dorset coordinator at Dorset Council, said: "Following concerns from local residents that the messaging on the packaging of the ‘forest friendly’ zip disposable barbecues could be encouraging people to have barbecues in forests, we urged Tesco to remove the product from sale.

"The messaging referred to the charcoal being sustainably sourced, however this is not how it was being perceived by customers and local residents in Dorset. After correspondence with the area manager for Bournemouth and Poole, it was decided that the ZIP ‘forest friendly’ barbecue trays would be centrally discontinued from Tesco.

"As part of a joint campaign alongside Dorset Council, Litter Free Dorset are working closely with supermarkets to either remove disposable barbecues from sale and/or display safety messaging next to barbecues and other barbecue related items."