PSPOs coming in for disposable barbecues, lanterns and balloons

A proposal to help tackle the environmental issues caused by disposable barbecues, lanterns and balloons on the beach and the city’s open spaces was agreed at the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee on 15 March this year.

Following overwhelming support from residents in a public consultation around the environmental risks, safety and increased littering in these areas, Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) will be in force to tackle the problem from 1 July 2022.

The use of single-use, disposable barbecues and the release of lanterns and balloons outdoors present environmental issues for the city and pose a significant risk to wildlife and nature. 

Public support

Feedback from the consultation told us that 79% of respondents agreed that single-use, disposable barbecues should not be allowed in or on council-owned parks and open spaces, and the seafront.   

More than 80% also agreed that single-use, disposable barbecues cause issues for people, the environment and the city. 

Stand alone, non-disposable barbecues will still be allowed on certain beaches and in parks and open spaces, as they are now. 

Single use, disposable barbecues cause a number of problems in parks and open spaces, including: 

  • posing a dangerous fire risk when in use and if not disposed of correctly  
  • presenting a risk of injury to people and animals 
  • if not set up correctly, they can scorch and damage the environment around them 
  • when not disposed properly, the public purse pays for the tidy up 

Residents also asked us to take action on balloons and sky lanterns, after reports of people letting them off in public spaces. 

Lanterns and balloons are also problematic for the environment and council as they return to the ground as litter and can be ingested by animals, birds and marine wildlife, causing risk of death, injury and entrapment.  

They're also impossible to dispose of in a safe way as once released the owner has no way of finding it.

For lanterns, there is no way of making sure they're extinguished before they fall to the ground, meaning they are also a serious fire risk. 


PSPOs will be in force from 1 July 2022 to stop the use of single-use, disposable barbecues and the release of lanterns and balloons in or on council-owned parks, open spaces and the seafront.

Signage is being placed around the city to notify residents and visitors of the new rules.

If an Environmental Enforcement Officer witnesses anyone not complying with the PSPO, they can issue a Fixed Penalty Notice.

Read the full 15 March Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee report on tackling disposable BBQs and lanterns (agenda item 95).

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