Grounded – end of an era for lanterns?

Coun­cil: Vote on bal­loon re­leases

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen) - - NEWS -

Re­leas­ing bal­loons and fly­ing lanterns on Aberdeen City Coun­cil prop­erty could be banned if a new pol­icy is ap­proved next week.

A new re­port, which will go be­fore mem­bers of the fi­nance, pol­icy and re­sources com­mit­tee on Wed­nes­day, will highlight to coun­cil­lors the risks posed to the en­vi­ron­ment by let­ting items fly off into the sky.

A to­tal of 50 other lo­cal au­thor­i­ties across the UK al­ready have poli­cies re­strict­ing the prac­tice, in­clud­ing Aberdeen­shire, and the re­lease of lanterns is pro­hib­ited in Aus­tralia, Malta, Spain and Aus­tria.

The re­port rec­om­mends that the un­con­trolled re­lease of bal­loons, lanterns and other items from coun­cil prop­erty, by coun­cil staff or at events sup­ported by the coun­cil be banned.

How­ever, the re­port has not sug­gested that of­fend­ers be pun­ished with fines.

Ca­role No­ble, oper­a­tions di­rec­tor for the en­vi­ron­men­tal char­ity Keep Scot­land Beau­ti­ful, urged coun­cil­lors to ap­prove the new pol­icy.

She high­lighted the risks that can be posed by bal- loons on both wildlife and the en­vi­ron­ment, as well as the risks that flam­ing lanterns can pose to prop­er­ties and live­stock.

She said: “Thou­sands of bal­loons or fly­ing lanterns be­ing re­leased into the sky may look im­pres­sive for a few min­utes, but the im­pact upon the en­vi­ron­ment and wildlife may last many months or years, and can have hor­ri­ble con­se­quences.

“It’s great to see proac­tive ac­tion be­ing taken in Aberdeen to ad­dress a source of lit­ter in our en­vi­ron­ment that many peo­ple just don’t think about.”

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