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Sky lanterns: environmental and risk assessment

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This study was jointly commissioned by English and Welsh Governments to establish an evidence base to help any future policy decisions on sky lanterns and helium balloons.

The study aimed to identify and assess the risks of sky lanterns and helium balloons to:

  • livestock health and welfare
  • the environment (including litter)
  • fire risk
  • damage to marine life 
  • consumer safety.


The objectives of the project were:

  • to gather evidence, through a literature review and telephone interviews
  • to evaluate this evidence, develop the ‘evidence base’ on the impacts of sky lanterns and helium balloons and to draw conclusions
  • to prepare and deliver a final report.