A third of people were not aware charcoal is made from wood, survey finds

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19th October 2015 11:10 - Oil and Gas

A recent survey by the WWF has revealed that more than a third of people were not aware that charcoal is made from wood.A third of people were not aware charcoal is made from wood, survey finds

In a survey conducted to assess the UK’s outlook on the sustainability of charcoal, 8 per cent said that they didn’t know what charcoal is made of and a further 25 per cent thought that it was made from mined coal, meaning that more than a third of the respondents were unaware of what it is made from.

However, 61 per cent correctly identified that charcoal is made from wood.

Just 42 per cent of the respondents believed that the production of charcoal contributes to deforestation, despite the fact that 3.28 billion tonnes of wood is required to make the charcoal imported to Europe every year. This volume of wood roughly equates to 11 million hectares of trees (the English island is 13 million hectares), or nearly half a football pitch per second.

The survey revealed that approximately 75 per cent of UK adults feel that retailers should make sure the charcoal they sell comes from sustainable sources.

WWF-UK’s forest expert, Beatrix Richards, said of the findings:

“In 2012, the UK implemented a regulation to make sure wood products are made from legally logged timber. It is astonishing that charcoal falls outside of this regulation. The UK is importing large quantities from countries with a high risk of illegality and high rates of deforestation.

“At WWF, we are applying pressure to retailers and rule-makers alike through our Save Forests campaign to close this legal loophole.

She added:“Retailers need to play their part in changing the charcoal market, and clearly consumers expect them to do so. Shops, petrol stations, garden centres and others that sell barbecue charcoal must make sure they are getting their charcoal from sustainable managed sources. They can help their customers to buy sustainably by refusing to offer unsustainable alternatives.”

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