Asda And Aldi Banning The Sale Of Energy Drinks To Under-16s
According to a study by the European Food Safety Authority, as much at 69 percent of teenagers - and 24 percent of children under the age of 10 - consume energy drinks like Red Bull, Relentless, Monster and Rockstar.
However, from 1 March, supermarkets Asda and Aldi will join Waitrose with a ban on the sale of energy drinks to customers under the age of 16.
Anyone who is believed to be underage will be asked to show ID to buy any soft drink containing more than 150mg of caffeine per litre.
The ban has gained a lot of high profile traction lately, with celebrity chef and campaigner Jamie Oliver calling for the government to step in - saying there's a worrying correlation between the drinks and poor performance at school.
He's also suggested that there should be a new age limit of 16 on all sales, and that we should be following the guidance that already exists on cans, which state that the drinks aren't suitable for children.
"If the energy drink industry is literally telling us their products are 'not recommended for children' on the cans, why can kids as young as 10 buy them whenever they want?" he said.
"This consumption is compromising our kids, and our teachers, too - we have to do something about it. We urgently need the government to step up and put age restrictions on the sale of energy drinks to all under-16s."
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Teachers' union NASUWT has also called for a ban.
Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, has said that children's health needs to be put first.
"Schools do all they can to provide an environment conducive to learning, but they can't control what's on sale beyond the school gates. If the Government is serious about protecting children, it needs to put their interests before the profits of the energy drinks industry and ban the sale of these harmful products to under-16s," he said.
Waitrose was the first supermarket to voluntarily introduce the ban, announcing that it would be enforcing it from 5 March. However, now other big supermarket chains are following suit, in a bid to 'do the right thing'.
The change will come into force in all of Aldi's stores in the UK and Ireland on 1 March. It will also affect 646 Asda shops from March.
Andrew Murray, Asda's chief customer officer said: "We take our responsibilities as a retailer seriously and work hard to ensure we get the balance right between offering choice and doing the right thing.
"We have listened to our customers and want to take a leading position in this area to support parents and teachers in limiting young peoples' access to high caffeine drinks."
Meanwhile, Oliver King, managing director of corporate responsibility at Aldi, said: "We are introducing this age restriction in response to growing concern about the consumption of energy drinks among young people."
Featured Image Credit: PA