Due to the increasing use of barbecues, the demand for charcoal is rapidly rising.
Today around 98% of barbeque charcoal sold in the UK is imported. It can come from places as
far away as Indonesia, Australia and Argentina. This affects our balance of payments and the freight
miles contribute to the global production of carbon dioxide.
Much of this charcoal is a by-product of deforestation and is often made from wood unsuitable for
good charcoal production, such as mangrove or eucalyptus. Because the wood is not ideal, petrochemicals
are often added to make the charcoal easy to light. The usual result is a fast burning product
that reaches a high temperature quickly and this can mean your food does not cook evenly or properly.
The logos on these bags may offer re-assurance to the purchaser concerning the source of the wood used
in making the charcoal, but many of these organisations, including some of the largest, cannot be relied
upon to deliver true sustainability.