Hertfordshire county council is the latest UK council to ban the release of sky lanterns and balloons from all land and buildings under its ownership or control.
The move follows a petition to the council which was started by a local ecological group, calling on the council to ‘disallow the release of balloons and sky lanterns on land owned or controlled by the council’.
The last 2019 meeting of the council’s cabinet agreed to the measure after considering the harm to wildlife, livestock and the risk of fire when the lanterns and balloons land.
Future council leases will include a ‘restraint’ which will effectively ban the releases, while any licence or agreement to hire land or property will also prevent them.
According to local environmental reports, debris from lanterns and balloons is frequently found littered around the Herts county council estate as well as the wider countryside.
The use of balloons and sky lanterns is not currently banned in England or Scotland and it is up to each individual council to impose restrictions. More than 80 councils across the UK have already done so.
As an industry, the party trade does not support balloon releases, with EBPC, BAPIA, NABAS and a number of suppliers all educating consumers to take responsibility, to ‘not let go’ and to enjoy balloons responsibly.