Asda has been forced to ration its fizzy drinks amid an ongoing UK-wide carbon dioxide shortage

Emily Nicolle
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Fizzy drinks are being rationed because of a lack of carbon dioxide
Fizzy drinks are being rationed because of a lack of carbon dioxide (Source: Getty)

Supermarket chain Asda is limiting the amount of fizzy drinks its customers can buy, as the UK's carbon dioxide shortage worsens to near-crisis levels.

The retailer has put a six-drink cap on shoppers buying bottles, cans or multipacks of fizzy drinks online, although the limit does not apply in-store.

This includes all own-brand drinks, as well as named brands like Pepsi, Pepsi Max, Coca-cola, Diet Coke, Fanta and 7Up.

The announcement comes as the UK experiences a shortage of CO2 (carbon dioxide), which is used to make drinks fizzy and keep other kinds of food fresh.

The UK's biggest food and drink wholesaler Booker, owned by fellow supermarket chain Tesco, said on Tuesday that it has limited sales of beer and soft drinks to thousands of pubs, bars and shops.

Read more: Booker rations beer supplies amid carbon dioxide shortage

The key ingredient to carbonated drinks has been in short supply because of concurrent maintenance shutdowns at major production plants across Europe, according to industry journal Gasworld.

Elsewhere, bakery chain Warburtons revealed that it had been forced to shut down production on two out of its four bakeries on crumpets, one of which is in north London.

There are fears that the UK's meat supply could be the next to fall at the CO2 hurdle, as the gas is used in packaging to slow down food going off.

The British Retail Consortium said in a statement yesterday:

Issues remain with the supply of CO2 across Europe. Retailers and suppliers are working hard to ensure food availability is maintained by sourcing suitable alternatives.

We are aware of specific pressures in some areas such as carbonated soft drinks, beer, British chicken and British pork but the majority of food products are unaffected and retailers do not anticipate food shortages.

However, it is likely that the mix of products available may be affected.

Read more: Highlands Natural Resources targets carbon dioxide production

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