SPI Residents' Experiment Reveals Lanterns Not Environmentally Safe

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas - The City of South Padre Island denied a permit for the September Lantern Fest.

Although the event gathers thousands of spectators, there was opposition and environmental concern from many residents, who ran a lantern biodegradation experiment to test whether the lanterns were environmentally friendly.

“The degradation of this material is not enough,” said Council Member Theresa Metty.

“The test went on for six weeks, I did my own test…I took it out to the Birding Center we did a test out there, it is not enough,” Metty said.

“The last event… There was 3,000 lanterns, after the event I asked how many were picked up they didn't have a count,” she said. 

Island lover Mario Giacalone from San Antonio created a petition urging the city to ban the release of sky lanterns due to the hazards associated with the product.

Thousands signed the petition and South Padre Island City Hall was crowded with those opposing the lanterns, including representatives from the South Padre Island Fire Department and Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. 

All council members were in favor of the ban against one. 


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