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Council reaffirms ban on balloons and sky lanterns

Balloons in the sky

Gateshead Council has reaffirmed its ban on the release of balloons and sky lanterns from Council-owned land after signing up to the Marine Conservation Society's 'Don't Let Go!' campaign.

The council already forbids balloon releases on any Council-owned land. Now, after signing up to the MSC's campaign, that ban has been extended to cover sky lanterns.

Gateshead Council banned balloon releases from council land in 2009 after growing concerns that balloons were being carried out to sea where they can cause life-threatening problems for sea birds and other marine animals.

Balloons can also cause serious problems in the countryside where they can be eaten by wild animals and livestock.

The growth in popularity of sky lanterns has also brought serious problems as they have been known to cause fires on farmland and the metal frames inside sky lanterns can also cause serious injuries to livestock.

Balloon and sky lantern releases are now generally considered to be environmentally bad practice and are prohibited on council-owned property.

Cabinet member for Environment and Transport, Councillor John McElroy, says: 

"Signing up to the 'Don't Let Go' campaign reasserts the council's commitment to protecting the environment and highlights the dangers of balloon and sky lantern releases.

"Sky lanterns and balloons may look pretty but they can present a serious threat to wildlife at sea and on land, not to mention the fire risk they pose.

"There are lots of alternative ways of celebrating an occasion or marking an event which won't damage the environment - lighting candles, candlelit vigils, blowing bubbles, a minute's applause, there are loads of options.

"We would urge organisers to consider all other options for their celebration or memorial events rather than something that will damage wildlife and the environment."

Balloons in the sky
13 March 2020

Gateshead Council has reaffirmed its ban on the release of balloons and sky lanterns from Council-owned land after signing up to the Marine Conservation Society's 'Don't Let Go!' campaign.

The council already forbids balloon releases on any Council-owned land. Now, after signing up to the MSC's campaign, that ban has been extended to cover sky lanterns.

Gateshead Council banned balloon releases from council land in 2009 after growing concerns that balloons were being carried out to sea where they can cause life-threatening problems for sea birds and other marine animals.

Balloons can also cause serious problems in the countryside where they can be eaten by wild animals and livestock.

The growth in popularity of sky lanterns has also brought serious problems as they have been known to cause fires on farmland and the metal frames inside sky lanterns can also cause serious injuries to livestock.

Balloon and sky lantern releases are now generally considered to be environmentally bad practice and are prohibited on council-owned property.

Cabinet member for Environment and Transport, Councillor John McElroy, says: 

"Signing up to the 'Don't Let Go' campaign reasserts the council's commitment to protecting the environment and highlights the dangers of balloon and sky lantern releases.

"Sky lanterns and balloons may look pretty but they can present a serious threat to wildlife at sea and on land, not to mention the fire risk they pose.

"There are lots of alternative ways of celebrating an occasion or marking an event which won't damage the environment - lighting candles, candlelit vigils, blowing bubbles, a minute's applause, there are loads of options.

"We would urge organisers to consider all other options for their celebration or memorial events rather than something that will damage wildlife and the environment."

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