Co-op Group and John Lewis join retailers in acid sale crackdown

The move comes in response to a growing number of violent attacks using acid in the UK

The Co-op Group and worker-owned John Lewis – including Waitrose – are among retailers signing up to a voluntary scheme to limit acid and corrosive-based products to under-18s.

The voluntary ban comes as the government plans to restrict the sale of products containing dangerous levels of corrosive chemicals, in response to a spate of violent attacks using acid.

Tesco, Morrisons, Wickes, B&Q, Screwfix and Wilko have also signed up to the scheme.

Under-18s will no longer be able to buy:

  • Products that contain sulphuric acid, such as drain cleaners/unblockers
  • Products that contain hydrochloric acid (10% and above), such as brick and patio cleaners
  • Products that contain sodium hydroxide (12% and above), such as paint strippers.

“Acid attacks have a devastating impact on their victims, leaving both emotional and physical scars,” said Victoria Atkins, minister for crime, safeguarding and vulnerability. “I’m pleased that so many of the UK’s major retailers are joining our fight to combat this scourge and signalling they are committed to selling acids responsibly.

“This is the next step of our acid attacks action plan that has already seen us consult on new laws to restrict young people’s access to acids.”

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