I hope you are safe and well.
I suspect many of you may have noticed that some suppliers of sky lanterns are currently attempting to persuade the public to buy and release sky lanterns during the lockdown as a way of showing solidarity with key workers, which has resulted in a bit of a backlash in mainstream and social media alike: https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/don-t-light-sky-lanterns-plea-1-6608642 https://www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/news/residents-advised-against-releasing-sky-lanterns/
A supplement to the Plastic Action Champions’ Handbook on the subject of sky lanterns and balloons has been on my to-do-list for a while anyway so this seems like a good time to share this with you (attached). As well as some ideas for marking events and occasions in more positive ways, it also contains a series of links to past incidents caused by sky lanterns and balloons impacting on people, livestock and wildlife, as these could come in useful as evidence should you attempt to influence a local organisation with whom you have links to adopt a policy on these devices.
If you are aware of any other past incidents that have been in the media please feel free to forward a weblink to me, or (when we are all allowed outside once again of course) come across any dead wildlife entangled by balloons or sky lanterns whilst out walking or wombling (equally if you are, or know, a farmer whose livestock has been affected) and are happy to share with me a picture and the date and location of incident, I will add these to the list of incidents.
As with the rest of the Handbook this is intended as an evolving resource so if you have any ideas for improvement for this, or any other part of the Handbook, please let me know. This new supplement is part of section 15, focussing on tips for various occasions – and is only the second section created thus far. There’s a list of other event and occasions that we haven’t developed yet – if you’d like to have a go at coming up with content for any of the following (or indeed if you already have!) please let me know:
Low impact event/occasion guides
a. Christmas DONE!
b. Alternatives to sky lanterns and balloon releases DONE!
c. Bonfire Night
e. New Year
f. Harvest festival
g. Loss of a loved one
j. Music festival
Whilst writing, I thought it might also be worth mentioning to you this new webpage which offers tips for dealing with garden waste at home which is topical given the suspension of green waste collections by councils across Suffolk: https://www.suffolkrecycling.org.uk/news/top-tips-for-dealing-with-garden-waste and if you know of any good ideas that aren’t on the page which you think should be you can send your ideas to email@example.com
And finally just in case you hadn’t heard, unfortunately the Government has decided to postpone the implementation of a ban on single-use plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds, which was due to take place this month, until October. We’re advised that this is only a temporary postponement. Once I hear any more on this matter I will be sure to let you know,
Daniel Wareing | Environmental Sustainability Officer
East Suffolk Council
East Suffolk Council will continue to review and prioritise the delivery of its services during this unprecedented time. The COVID-19 outbreak will severely impact what we are able to do, however we will continue to support and protect our communities, delivering the critical services you need.