A code drawn up to ensure sky lanterns are manufactured to be biodegradable and sold responsibly have been welcomed by Lib Dem campaigner Julie Pörksen. Concerns have been raised about the safety of sky lanterns in recent years.
In rural counties like Northumberland, sky lanterns have the potential to create risk to injure livestock and wildlife, cause fires and litter both land and sea.
The new industry code of practice aims to provide guidance for manufactures, importers, distributors and retailers of sky lanterns. The code will also help market surveillance authorities recognise the necessary safety checks and the type of warning and instructions that need to accompany the product whilst help ensure the responsible sale and safe use of sky lanterns.
Mrs Pörksen said: “This new code of practice is very welcome news for many both inside and outside the sky lantern industry.
“It is essential that we do not allow poor quality sky lanterns to damage our countryside and injure livestock.
“I hope that moving forward that this code will make a difference; and helps to end the awful scenes some farmers have had to deal with in recent years.
“The impact of this new code should be monitored as alternative approaches may be necessary, including legislation.”
The new code was the outcome of discussions between the sky lantern industry and the Government. The code of practice can be found at: www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/policy/skylanterns.cfm