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Bishop's Stortford Town Council set to ban Chinese lanterns and helium balloons

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Chinese lanterns and helium balloons are set to be banned from sale or use on Bishop's Stortford Town Council land.

Members of the council's finance and policy committee voted at their latest meeting to recommend the policy to the full council when it meets on Monday February 3.

The authority's Conservative leader, Cllr John Wyllie, who proposed the policy, said: "As we look to reduce the carbon footprint of the town council and minimise our ecological impact, we've been looking at all activities which can or do take place on council land.

Chinese lanterns (27504075)
Chinese lanterns (27504075)

"While Chinese lanterns and helium balloons can be fun, they can have a devastating impact on the environment. Once Chinese lanterns fall back to earth they are effectively litter and risk causing fires. Indeed, a fire at a German zoo earlier this year was blamed on Chinese lanterns."

He added: "Helium balloons, meanwhile, not only present a litter hazard, but are rapidly using up reserves of precious helium. The gas has many medical and industrial uses, but one of the most critical is in MRI scanners. We should preserve our scarce natural resources wherever possible."

The ban will include the town's markets on Thursdays and Saturdays.

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