NOTE: This content is old - Published: Wednesday, Oct 9th, 2013.
Natural Resources Minister, Alun Davies, has written to Flintshire County Council and the other local authorities in Wales to encourage them to introduce a voluntary ban on the release of sky lanterns and helium balloons.
The Minister has warned of the danger and stress that sky lanterns can pose to animals and has highlighted the fire risks, as demonstrated by the recent fire at the plastic recycling plant in the West Midlands.
Alun Davies said:
“Sky lanterns and helium balloons pose a real danger to livestock, other animals and buildings. A recent independent report has found that the fire risk associated with the use of sky lanterns is significant; while we also know that the ingestion of debris from lanterns can kill or seriously harm an animal.
“We want to make people aware of the risks and that is why I have written to local authorities across Wales to encourage them to introduce a voluntary ban on the release of sky lanterns and helium balloons. We are also supporting the UK Government’s efforts to work with retailers and manufacturers to ensure that clear warnings about the risk of helium balloons and sky lanterns are placed on packaging.”
The Minister has also urged charities to consider the impact of releasing lanterns and balloons and review their policies on their use in fundraising and events.
Mr Davies added:
“I hope that Welsh charities think twice before releasing lanterns and helium balloons as there are many alternatives that are fun and equally as eye catching, but that don’t pose a fire risk or harm to the environment.“