Sky lanterns are not litter, have zero emissions and help the ecosystem
For definition, littering is the act of intentionally dropping and leaving deposits lying on the public ground, like those seen every day in towns and countryside alike. (Annex: page 27) The principle of Sky lanterns is to be released free in the sky and thinking of a dream while watch them flying away until the light goes off.
Innovative sky lanterns are 100% biodegradable and have zero emissions, unlike many other entertainment alternatives such as F1 cars, Aeroplanes, BBQs, Hunting Guns, Fireworks, Shooting Flames and Film explosions, Hair Spray and Beauty products and so on, which they all release high level of polluting substances, some of which known as Nanoparticles, PM10 and PM2.5, or debris and microbeads flashed via drains and distributed in the environment unconditionally.
People’s hobbies and entertainment preferences are vast and subjective, but whether one enjoys more a barbequed beef steak or perhaps prefer to spend hours wearing make-up or reshaping hair style. It is certain that innovation plays a great part in shaping our future world and it is mandatory that industries invest in new technologies to overcome any concern impacting on people, livestock and on the environment.
In fact, Sky lanterns are the least of the littering problem for the environment and assuming that sky lanterns do not contain Asbestos, they will be mostly eaten by snails and they will biodegrade in a very short time and posing no risks for the environment. Besides, it is known that snails and slugs are greedy for cellulose and even if they are not very appealing, they are fundamental for the ecosystem and essential for the diet of many small animals like hedgehogs and frogs. (Annex: page 24)
Moreover, it is inconceivable to ban everything which pollute in our modern world, unless Humanity is reset back to Stone Age. Have said that, we must do everything we can to minimise the impact on the environment of our everyday living activities. When choosing sky lanterns it is important that they are from a reputable supplier (not on Amazon or EBay), made with high quality materials and possibly avoid using those made with metal-wires. This is also supported by the UK Trading Standard Institute in the Code of Practice of sky lanterns.
The true inconvenience of metal-wires is that even if the wire is 100% biodegradable, it will take longer time to rust compared to the fiberglass sting. In addition, these wires could fall on cultivated land and although the paper and the bamboo ring will break down in a short time, whereas the metal wire will blend on crops and it could damage or breakdown farmer’s machineries. Likewise, if the wire ends up on remote roads it could get tangle under cars or they could get stacked in bikers’ wheels.
To anyone who intends to release a considerable number of sky lanterns, it is recommended to use only premium quality sky lanterns and
Council across countries should help ensuring that any event using sky lanterns is responsibly conducted, without the need of banning all sky lanterns events.
Must be said that Authorities around the world are constantly stopping dangerous goods from entering our countries, like product made with asbestos and many other prohibited products which are totally banned in EU but easily available on third party websites like Amazon and EBay. Sky lanterns are not exempted and members of the public are at risk if they get in contact with Asbestos contained in the rope of some sky lanterns. Evidences taken in April 2017 show that 3 out of 5 test purchases made on Amazon resulted positive to the test and confirmed to contain Chrysotile, which is invisible to human eye. (Annex: page 25-26) This does not mean that all sky lanterns are made with contaminated rope but obviously those with it will definitely pollute the environment.
- Premium Sky lanterns have very low environmental impact: https://www.nightskylanterns.co.uk/blog/?premium-sky-lanterns-have-very-low-environmental-impact
- Important information on Sky Lanterns (pdf open in a new window): https://www.nightskylanterns.co.uk/files/sky-lanterns-report-20190403.pdf
- Appeal to stop Councils from banning all sky lanterns: https://www.nightskylanterns.co.uk/blog/?appeal-to-stop-councils-from-banning-all-sky-lanterns
- Sky lanterns are not illegal or banned in UK, EU and USA: https://www.nightskylanterns.co.uk/blog/?sky-lanterns-are-not-illegal-or-banned-in-uk,-eu-and-usa
- Failure of its own success - Sky Lanterns: https://www.nightskylanterns.co.uk/blog/?failure-of-its-own-success-sky-lanterns