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Balloon/lantern release on council land

West Lothian Council does not permit the release of balloons and/or sky lanterns on its land.

A policy was approved in February 2017 that banned such releases due to the hazards such releases pose to the environment, wildlife, livestock and property.

The National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS) approached the council to prevent releases due to their dangers they pose to animals. Many other authorities and organisations have similar restrictions in place, which are also supporting by Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Releases have been linked to injury and death in wild animals and livestock, as well as damage to the environment and property and have been linked to major fires.

Under section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 it is an offence to throw down, drop or otherwise deposit, and then leave litter in a public open place, with fixed penalty notices for anyone caught.

The ban covers chinese/sky lanterns and gas-filled balloons, with anyone considering such a release encouraged to consider alternatives. It also includes all biodegradable balloons, which take some time to degrade and can cause entanglement or choking hazard to animals.

For more details, please visit: Policy on Release of Chinese / Sky Lanterns and Balloons (opens new window)