Chinese lanterns should be grounded, says Lewes councillor

The lanterns can cause dreadful injuries to animals, says Cllr Sarah Osborne
The lanterns can cause dreadful injuries to animals, says Cllr Sarah Osborne

Councillors at Lewes District Council have agreed to consider curbing the use of Chinese lanterns on council owned land.

The lanterns are already banned in some areas in the UK due to the environmental risks that they pose.

Cllr Sarah Osborne raised the issue at a recent Cabinet meeting and received unanimous backing from the committee.

She said: “The lanterns can float for miles and when they come down can cause dreadful injuries to animals and present a real fire risk.

“There are so many cases of wildlife and livestock accidently eating the lanterns or becoming entangled in them. People should think twice before buying a Chinese lantern.

“It’s no surprise an increasing number of individuals and groups are calling for an outright ban.”

The RSPCA, Civil Aviation Authority, the Marine Conservation Society and National Farmers’ Union are just some of the national organisations that are campaigning to have Chinese lanterns outlawed.

Cllr Andy Smith, Leader of Lewes District Council, said: “I’m quite sure many people that use Chinese lanterns release them into the night sky and don’t give much thought to what goes up, must come down.

“The list of highly respected organisations that want them banned continues to grow and with Christmas and New Year celebrations nearly upon us I would urge people to use different methods to celebrate these occasions.”

Council officers will now review the options the council has for enforcing a ban on releasing Chinese lanterns on council owned land.