For this year’s Guy Fawkes Night, Litter Free Dorset have collaborated with Litter Free Coast and Sea, the Urban Heaths Partnership and Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, to launch the ‘It’s Not Rocket Science’ social media campaign. This campaign aims to encourage residents and visitors to Dorset alike, to have a fun but firework-free Bonfire Night.
As a result of Covid, and current government guidelines and restrictions, there will be no organised Bonfire Night firework displays in Dorset this year. Instead, it is anticipated that families and friends may want to host their own DIY Bonfire Nights, in accordance to current government social distancing guidelines.
Carla Roberts-Owen, from Litter Free Dorset said, “Not many people realise just how much plastic there is in fireworks. That’s why it’s important, alongside safety messages, to raise awareness as what goes up, must come back down. This is very much the case with fireworks, and the harmful litter they create. That’s why we’re encouraging everyone to have a fun but firework-free Bonfire Night this year.”
Fireworks contain non-biodegradable plastics that, following a firework being launched, are dispersed over large areas before returning to the ground. This results in the wide scattering of plastic debris, polluting the environment and harming wildlife that mistake the plastic as food. This littered plastic can persist in the environment for a very long time and is often lightweight, so even if it is inland, can be easily transported by wind and rain, down drains, into local waterways, ultimately ending up in the sea. Over time, this plastic will fragment into smaller pieces of microplastics that are very difficult to remove from both land and marine environments, and can be mistaken as food by sealife.
As well as plastic pollution, fireworks can be dangerous, causing wildfire and injury to both humans and animals.
However, if you choose to use fireworks, please do so safely and ensure they are disposed of correctly. Make sure they are fully extinguished before placing in your black household waste bin. Same goes for sparklers. Never place any fireworks or sparklers in a recycling bin.