Balloon and sky lantern releases, even supposedly biodegradable ones, create litter and entangle and choke both wild and domestic creatures.
Balloons also consume reserves of helium while lanterns cause fires and waste the time of our emergency services when they are mistaken for distress signals. Furthermore, both can endanger aircraft.
Despite environmentalists doing all they can
to dissuade, and regular horror stories in the press of
creatures suffering and conflagrations, the trend in balloon and
sky lantern releases continues relentlessly upwards; otherwise rational and sensible people doing a silly thing for a few moments of pleasure or contemplation, blissfully unaware or not
caring about the damage they are inflicting on the environment
and its inhabitants.
In confronting this reality, our conclusion is
that an outright and national ban, that will consign these
irresponsible practices to history and prevent the ongoing
habitat degradation and suffering they cause, is the only workable remedy.
Of course the balloon industry begs to differ but has been thoroughly discredited and
there's a weak code of practice
for sky lanterns; neither of these come close to
eliminating their adverse effects.
But there is an opportunity, at a time when
the political tide is running against plastics being littered
into the environment, to get the issue considered for debate in
Parliament; an existing petition is already almost at the half-way mark and
needs only just over 50k signatures to get it past the 100,000
threshold by the 18th March.
In our view, this represents our best chance of highlighting this destructive and completely
unnecessary practice and potentially making the UK the first
country in the world to end it.
So please, for the good of the planet and future generations, support this endeavour by signing up to this Thunderclap today
with as many as possible of your online media channels.
This will reach out to your followers on the designated date with the message you can see asking them to sign the petition and retweet.
And should you wish to support our ongoing effort to eliminate littering through changing behaviour towards responsible disposal please use our donation page
With credits for images used in montage to:
L. Byrd – Sea Turtle Hospital, Mote Marine Laboratory
Christine McGuiness, MCS
West Midlands Fire Service
D. Gurniewicz, Indiana Dunes, IN