With World Ocean Day just past last week (8th June 2017) Isle of Wight resident Sarah Marshall has been in touch to share her joy at the council’s new official policy preventing mass balloon releases from their land and properties.
Supporting the ban
They are also now listed on the Marine Conservation Society’s list of councils supporting this ban.
The MCS say:
When balloons and sky lanterns (sometimes known as Chinese lanterns) are released, they don’t just simply disappear.
They float back down to earth, either whole or in pieces, adding to existing litter. Balloons and sky lanterns are particularly dangerous pieces of litter. Balloons are mistaken for food by many species of wildlife, particularly turtles.
Once balloons have been eaten they can block digestive systems and cause animals to starve. The string on balloons can also entangle and trap animals.
IWC now registered
Sarah Marshall, a local resident with an interest in Marine Plastic Pollution, noted the council were not registered with MCS despite having a relevant policy and contacted both parties. The council were keen to work with the MCS for registration, and can now be found on the MCS Website.
As Sarah often does her own beach cleans she felt that this was a great opportunity to increase public awareness over the problem of balloon releases,
“I often do my own beach cleans and balloons, including the remains of helium balloons, are frequently found in the large amount of plastic waste that gets washed up on the beaches.
“It is estimated around 12 million tons of plastic enters our Oceans each year, so anything we can do to cut down the amount of plastic we use and allow to litter our environment can only help this dire situation.”
Find out more
The MCS encourage all schools, organisations and businesses to continue to sign their pledge to not release balloons or lanterns.
More information can be found on their Website.