The new code of practice on Sky Lanterns doesn’t go far enough, say event organisers who are calling for a national ban.
The National Outdoor Events Association has already branded Sky Lanterns as dangerous to the public, livestock and buildings.
Earlier this year it launched a three-pronged campaign to raise awareness among the public, event organisers and to gain a parliamentary debate in a bid for an outright ban which has won support from the NFU, CLA, some local authorities and the Business Visits & Events Partnership.
A new industry code of practice was unveiled by the Trading Standards Institute following discussions between the Government and industry.
Susan Tanner, NOEA’s chief executive, said: “We have been involved in the discussions from the outset and while the code is a step in the right direction it doesn’t go far enough.
“Sky lanterns may look pretty but in reality they are balls of fire being sent into the air uncontrolled and unmonitored causing damage to animals and property. Ultimately there is a risk to human life; we have already seen firefighters injured while tackling a blaze caused by a lantern.
“We ask our members to impose a voluntary ban while we continue to gather the evidence to support an outright ban; much of it at the moment is anecdotal and we need the hard evidence to drive it forward.
“There is a petition in place asking government for a Parliamentary debate to support the ban which can be found via our website and we over the summer some local councils have been taking the initiative to ban the sale and use of sky lanterns – we hope more will come on board.”
Richard Limb, NOEA’s president, added: “We are sure if people realised the long term effect they would be horrified. The floating fire balls may not cause blazes but little bits of wire may end up in silage and the consequences for livestock can be dire.”
NOEA’s website – www.noea.org.uk - has a section where evidence can be submitted of issues faced by the public as well as downloadable posters, signs and letters for use in backing the campaign. There is also a link to the petition calling for the Parliamentary debate.