Chinese lanterns pose a “double whammy” to rural areas of Tayside, it has been claimed.
The lanterns are made from a paper covered frame, usually constructed from wire or bamboo, which is inflated by an open flame which lifts the lantern into the air.
When released, the lanterns can float for miles and have been known to injure livestock and cause fires when they land.
Angus, Perth and Kinross and Fife councils have already banned them at their own events and under certain other circumstances.
Arbroath East and Lunan Conservative Councillor Derek Wann spoke out after being made aware of the issues that the lanterns and helium-filled latex balloons pose.
He said: “The lanterns are banned completely in some places, and Angus Council has taken action where it can on this, for example prohibiting the intentional release of lanterns and helium-filled latex balloons at council endorsed events.
“I know that they can look fantastic, and also have a special meaning to people when they are released but the fact is that even so-called environmentally friendly versions with bamboo frames pose a significant threat to wildlife.
“Of particular concern for coastal areas, is that these lanterns have previously been mistaken for maritime distress flares.
“In rural areas, they are also a fire risk and are known to have injured livestock, and I would ask people to think about the potential consequences of releasing these lanterns and consider using alternatives, such as static lanterns or nightlights.
“For Angus, it’s potentially a double whammy, and I think there is scope to tighten the legislation on these,”
In one instance in 2013, a fire involving 100,000 tonnes of recycling material caused an estimated £6 million worth of damage when a Chinese lantern landed at a site in England.
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A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We understand the concerns raised in relation to the use of fire lanterns and are working closely with stakeholders to avoid all sources of litter.
“A number of Scottish Local Authorities already have a release ban in place on balloons and sky lanterns.
“Issues related to product safety are reserved to Westminster.”
In 2018, a horse in England was set on fire when a Chinese lantern landed on it, and was also left with a foot-long gaping wound after bolting through a wire fence in shock.
Andrew Llanwarne of Friends of the Earth Tayside backed the calls, saying: “We are concerned about the use of Chinese lanterns, which illustrate a casual disregard for the environmental consequences of our actions.
“At the very least, they involve releasing materials into the surrounding area that add to the existing litter despoiling our towns and countryside.”
“It is understandable that many organisations and local authorities have introduced restrictions on the use of Chinese lanterns, and giving greater publicity to the risks would help members of the public to understand, and accept, these restrictions.”