Call for balloon release ban after related litter soars by 50 per cent

Balloon release licenced by Creative Commons
Balloon release licenced by Creative Commons

Calls to end mass balloon releases in Brighton and Hove received a positive response from councillors last week.

Local Labour Party member Theresa Fowler presented a deputation to Brighton and Hove City Council calling for a ban on the release of balloons and sky lanterns.

She said: “In the last few years it has grown in fashion to release balloons and sky lanterns at special events, funerals and memorials.

“In Brighton a number of schools and nurseries release balloons in parks at the end of the school years.

“The Marine Conservation Society has said that 53 per cent more balloon-related litter has been found on our beaches this year than in 2015.”

The full council meeting at Hove Town Hall was told that Dutch coastline campaigners said that 13,000 balloons were washed up on the nation’s coast every week.

Other concerning evidence included: a three-year-old horse choked to death on a balloon string; two swans were entangled in a balloon string; and a pilot whale was found dying of starvation with 70 plastic bags in its stomach.

The Labour council leader Daniel Yates said: “I am sure council across the chamber welcomes this. There have been a number of motions about pollution and single-use plastics.”

Cllr Yates added that a report would be prepared for him and his colleagues to consider.

It is expected to be discussed at the council’s policy, resources and growth committee meeting in October.

Sarah Booker-Lewis is the Local Democracy Reporter for Brighton & Hove.

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