Activists say no to Chinese lanterns

| 30/12/2020 | 52 Comments

(CNS): Local green activists are urging hotel, restaurant and bar managers across the Cayman Islands not to release Chinese lanterns this year as part of the New Year’s Eve celebrations. Environmental scientist Tammy Kelderman of Cayman Eco said the lights, even those marked as biodegradable, still pose a threat to marine life.

The lanterns may look pretty but they can glide for miles to the pelagic feeding grounds of aquatic animals, who can eat them or become entangled in their remains. 

Many countries have actually banned the use of these lanterns because when they fall to the ground as burning litter they can cause fires.

While they are allowed here, it seems many establishments are rejecting them in any event as a result of pressure from campaigners and because the manages know the risk they pose.

The Westin, Grand Old House, the Wharf and Coral Beach, who are holding NYE events, have all confirmed they won’t be releasing the lanterns.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    This isn’t a Cayman tradition anyway so what is the purpose? As for the fireworks, they can be more responsible. My neighbors were letting them off in a very residential area with many trees and wooden houses. The flaming debris landed right by my child’s foot in our yard. The poor animals were so frightened. The hens were coming out of the bushes and the dogs were barking.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Words to the unwise: Pick your battles. Don’t fall on your sword for something like paper lanterns.

    Have a look at the dump and do something about that, instead. This just smells like someone who doesn’t have plans this NYE. Wayyyyyyyyy worse things in Cayman than rice paper lanterns. Wayyyyyy wise.

  3. Buzzy says:

    Worse case scenario..a lantern lands on top of the smouldering Mt Trashheap.
    Kaboomm!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Stop the fireworks too, and put your garbage in your own garbage bag.
    Cayman beaches used to be so clean years ago, now it is a mix of hotel plastic cups, bottles, cans, etc.
    It is definitely not a behavior from educated people.

  5. Anonymous says:

    China produces junk and deadly diseases. They can keep their lanterns

  6. No concerns here says:

    I make my own 100% bamboo & tissue paper & flour glue. Even the fuel cup is bamboo.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I personal have several Chinese lanterns set to take flight tomorrow night. Happy New Year.

    • Anonymous says:

      If your reading is anything like your writing, you obviously didn’t understand the article.

    • Anonymous says:

      Happy new year, Richard. May you wake up in a trash disaster of your own making.

  8. Anonymous says:

    A well known beach bar at Cayman Kai released this stupid expression of self indulgence on a regular basis. Not only did they invariably end up dropping into the North Sound, but also into the wetlands amongst roosting birds and hanging in trees as entanglements. They were also a serious fire hazard if blown back inshore and into dry bush.
    But even more concerning is they flew directly into the flight path of jets leaving the airport.
    Not only is this a banal gesture founded in a culture that doesn’t apply to anyone outside of the Far East, it is also a pest and potentially very dangerous.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Jeez, can’t we have any fun anymore?

    • Anonymous says:

      Well our fun is at the misfortune of others. Thats literally human history, we benefit ourselves by hurting others/animals. Sad honestly.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman’s whole society, like much of the Western world, is predicated on the misfortunes of others. You could always move to Haiti if you find it so displeasing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nope. The bloody do-gooders need to feel important, so they’ve taken all the fun away. Now go to your room and I don’t want to here another peep out of you!

    • Anonymous says:

      You had your fun and ruined the world for the rest of us, so… no.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Used responsibly, the paper and paraffin-wax fuel cell is fully consumed and carbonized which then precipitates the splashdown. The rice-paper chute is immediately water soluble. Worst case, all that is left somewhere in the cool anaerobic depths off Grand Cayman, are perhaps a few hundred well scattered, negatively buoyant, sand-entombed 15″ ringed tin cross bars, corroding in slow-motion alongside decades and thousands of mesopelagic beer bottles, their caps, cans, pull-tabs and plastics.

    Any residual crossbars that come down into the shallower, warmer, aerobic waters, are oxidized within a week and converted into soluble iron oxide within 2-3 months, via science.

    I get the thrust of Cayman Eco’s messaging, but I’m just not convinced these whimsical human expressions deserve to be anywhere near the top of our local eco sin catalogue, particularly while we are simultaneously, and disproportionately allowing the launch of several tons of toxic fireworks skyward, most of which create their own positively buoyant debris fields.

    Lantern environmental footprint isn’t perfect, but not the worst either, and they may bring offsetting joy to what has been a particularly sh#tty year.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lol so true about the fireworks. 7MB becomes a warzone and countless plastic rockets are fired out oceanward, yet people worried about a little rice-paper lantern.

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t even try and ban fireworks the one time of the year we enjoy them either

        • Anonymous says:

          Well, Pirate’s Week… Used to set them off in each district heritage day too.

          Unless we never get back to normal. Then you can expect everything to be different.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’ll live without your pathetic lanterns, get over it.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s a strange assumption. Nobody is taking away anyone’s lanterns. Eco Cayman are entitled to their opinion, but they not an official authority over anything. They don’t have any power of enforcement, or get to prescribe limits on personal freedoms, rights, behavior and/or property. It is nonsensical to single-out and demonize a few bio-degradable lanterns on a night that sees thousands of pounds of toxic fireworks blasted into the air, and wood-pallet beach bonfires that can be seen from space.

    • Anonymous says:

      AMEN!

    • Anonymous says:

      So well put. Thanks for the perspective!

  11. Anonymous says:

    I find it remarkable that Jan 1st is recognised as the start of the New Year based solely on Roman mythology, – bottom line is we should conform to sending/not sending of lanterns depending on Janus’s wishes, – Happy New Year everybody

    • Anonymous says:

      Pope Gregory is responsible for our Jan 1st. It’s December 16th today under the Roman or Julian calendar, which was based on the astronomy of the time. The pope is definitely in favor of lanterns.

    • Anonymous says:

      LMAO You find THAT remarkable? I cannot imagine the pompous life you lead.

  12. Anonymous says:

    “have confirmed they will not release lanterns”

    But will use tons of disposable plastic for the event.

    • Anonymous says:

      All to make one look and feel good about themselves, like the pointless cleanups that collect plastic into plastic garbage bags and then dump it in the landfill for more to wash back up in the next week.

      Sorry, not sorry for my opinion.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cleaning up is not pointless. Were you raised by wolves?

        • Anonymous says:

          Ever clean your house every day and it still dirty the next day?

          Ever clean a beach only for the same garbage to wash back up next time you visit?

          Fighting entropy is pointless, and our landfill has no more room for plastic from Haiti.

          • Anonymous says:

            Everything we do that has any worth is fighting entropy. Bathing regularly is an example.

            • Anonymous says:

              We have a place to put your dirty shower water and dirt you swept up in your house

              We DO NOT have anywhere to put another nation’s washed up waste on our measly 100 sq miles

              • Anonymous says:

                That’s Right! Leave the garbage on the beach! That’ll show … someone, something.

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