Call to ban use of sky lanterns and helium balloons in Fenland

Call to ban use of sky lanterns and helium balloons in Fenland. Picture: ARCHANT

Call to ban use of sky lanterns and helium balloons in Fenland. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Chinese lanterns could be banned across Fenland to prevent "devastating consequences" for people, buildings and animals.

Councillors will discuss the issue as part of a motion put forward by leader Cllr Chris Boden at the full meeting of Fenland District Council (FDC) next Wednesday (September 18).

The sky lanterns, which are released into the sky at parties, could "entangle animals and create a choking hazard", Cllr Boden warns.

In the motion, he states: "Sky lanterns, also known as Chinese lanterns, when not used responsibly, are dangerous fire hazards which can have devastating consequences for people, buildings and animals.

"Similarly helium balloons used for balloon releases can also have a negative impact on animal welfare as the balloons and their strings can entangle animals, and create a choking hazard when animals consider the balloon as food.

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"Additionally, once these items come back down to land, they end up as litter."

Cllr Boden also wants to take it one step further and is asking his fellow members to agree to the UK government to "implement a nationwide ban on the release of sky lanterns and helium balloons across England".

He continued: "The release of sky/Chinese lanterns and helium balloons will continue to be prohibited from any land owned and occupied by FDC.

"The release of sky/Chinese lanterns and helium balloons will continue to be prohibited at events licensed, sponsored or supported by FDC.

"The council will discourage organisations/clubs/schools/its tenants within the FDC area from releasing sky/Chinese lanterns and helium balloons and to look for environmentally safe alternatives."

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