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Author Topic: Sky lanterns - should they be banned?  (Read 921 times)

Offline Duffield1

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Sky lanterns - should they be banned?
« on: 09 June, 2016, 01:40:06 PM »
I love the look of sky lanterns - reminds me of the scene in Disney's Rapunzel - but there are calls for them to be banned.

Now, I have release a couple in my time - we bought the ones with bamboo rather than wire frames.  Are these any less harmful to wildlife?  I know that the RSPCA uses the argument that it takes years for a bamboo frame to biodegrade, but given that the same could be said of a twig that falls from a tree which could pose a similar health risk, I tend to think that's a pretty weak argument.

Should they be banned altogether, or is some of the action against them based upon scaremongering?

Offline siasl

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Re: Sky lanterns - should they be banned?
« Reply #1 on: 09 June, 2016, 02:27:52 PM »
We live on a crowded isle with a lot of flammable stuff and frightenable livestock lying around. That basically sums up the arguments against them. I can see at least restrictions are needed, for example you wouldn't want folk to launch a flotilla of them at the end of the main runways of Heathrow. And I'm sure you wouldn't want one landing on your car as you drove.

Lack of biodegradability of the ones made of organic materials is a bit of an iffy argument - but I'd admit that the wire-frame ones are tantamount to littering and pose a hazard when they inevitably rust up.

They are pretty, though.

Offline P-Kasso2

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Re: Sky lanterns - should they be banned?
« Reply #2 on: 09 June, 2016, 05:13:48 PM »
We live on a crowded isle with a lot of flammable stuff and frightenable livestock lying around. That basically sums up the arguments against them. I can see at least restrictions are needed, for example you wouldn't want folk to launch a flotilla of them at the end of the main runways of Heathrow. And I'm sure you wouldn't want one landing on your car as you drove.

Lack of biodegradability of the ones made of organic materials is a bit of an iffy argument - but I'd admit that the wire-frame ones are tantamount to littering and pose a hazard when they inevitably rust up.

They are pretty, though.

I agree with all of the above, Siasl. But would add one thing...

I used to see these in Hong Kong all the time where they've been floating around for years with no apparent problems.

The reason?

Hong Kongers aren't daft. They use common sense. They let them off to float out to sea. That's the important bit...to float out to sea. Smart Hong Kongers simply don't let them off to drift towards a load of flammable sky scrapers.

Hong Kong is considerably more crowded than Britain yet I can't recall ever hearing of any of the kind of 'accidents' that dim Brits armed with sky lanterns get up to. Maybe all wannabe sky lantern users in Britain should have to pass an IQ test before they can buy one?

Anyway, sky lanterns look even more beautiful drifting out to sea reflected in the waves at night. They shouldn't be banned but the idiots letting them loose should be.
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