The Trading Standards Institute (TSI) has published a new code of practice for sky lanterns aimed at and developed by industry.

The code was the outcome of discussions between Government and industry hosted by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Concerns have been raised surrounding the safety of sky lanterns, as they have the potential to create a risk to consumers, cause fires, accidentally alert coastal rescue services, litter the land and sea, damage livestock and animal health and could be a risk to aviation.

The new industry code of practice aims to provide guidance for manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers. The code will help market surveillance authorities recognise the necessary safety checks, the type of warnings and instructions that need to accompany the product, and help ensure the responsible sale and safe use of sky lanterns.

Leon Livermore, TSI's chief executive, said: "We are pleased the industry has taken this initiative and developed this code of practice which provides a set of guidelines to help minimise the potential risks associated with the misuse of sky lanterns."

Farming Minister George Eustice said: “This new industry code of practice will help assure that sky lanterns are manufactured to be safe, biodegradable and sold responsibly.

“People are becoming more aware of the dangers of sky lanterns and how to reduce the risk of them causing damage. Over the last year Defra has highlighted these risks, and a number of retailers have decided to stop selling them while some local authorities and event organisers have banned sky lanterns altogether.”

Several retailers, including Poundland and Tesco have stopped selling sky lanterns in the past 12 months. The code of practice can be found on the TSI website.