Norfolk calls on New Years Eve not to drop sky lanterns
10:00 a.m. December 31, 2021
People celebrating the New Year have been urged not to let go of sky lanterns and balloons – due to the damage they cause to animals and the environment.
Norfolk County Council banned the removal of such lanterns from its own land in 2015.
And a motion filed by then-independent County Councilor Sandra Squire in 2018 led to the creation of a charter – to get individuals and businesses to stop discharges.
This commitment was supported by 179 individuals, schools, community groups and businesses across the county.
Andy Grant, member of Norfolk County Council’s Environment and Waste cabinet, said: ‘It’s wonderful that so many people are already committed to trying new, innovative ways to celebrate rather than releasing balloons. or sky lanterns.
“Unfortunately, while it may look pretty for a few moments, the aftermath can be devastating.
“We banned the releases of balloons and sky lanterns on our lands in 2015 because not only do sky lanterns pose a risk of uncontrolled floating fire, but evidence has shown that animals can injure themselves or die while being trapped or by eating leftover lanterns and balloons, which can end up as rubbish in the countryside and on our beautiful beaches.
The council suggested alternatives to dropping balloons and sky lanterns, including giant bubbles, kites, hanging banners and streamers or planting a tree.
Earlier this year, a coalition of 18 agricultural, environmental, animal and fire organizations wrote to Environment Minister Rebecca Pow, calling for the release of lanterns to be made illegal due to the dangers to livestock and the means of subsistence.