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Please Ban Harmful Balloon Releases in Ceredigion

This petition had 1,259 supporters

BALLOONS BLOW - DON'T LET GO! - If pieces of balloon were to be dropped directly on the ground you could be fined for littering, but because they are let go - not dropped - they are not classed as litter under current legislation, despite the fact that what goes up comes back down! This is something we want to see changed.

When balloons are released, they don’t just simply disappear. Intentionally letting go of balloons and sky lanterns can cause big problems for wildlife both on land and at sea. Choking and entanglement are the biggest dangers that balloons and lanterns cause when they float back down to earth. Balloons are mistaken for food by many species of wildlife, particularly  turtles. A turtle searching for food may mistake a deflated balloon for a jellyfish and swallow it up – the problem is the balloon will block the turtle or any other creatures digestive system and lead to protracted starvation and eventually death. The string on balloons can and do also entangle, strangle, trap and hurt animals.

MCS Beachwatch Big Weekend beach litter surveys, of which ABB and Aber's beaches are a part, have shown an increase in balloon litter levels since they started recording them in 1996. In fact, the average number of balloons and balloon pieces found on UK beaches were three times as much in 2011 as they were in 1996! ABB volunteers have removed literally hundreds of balloons, balloon fragments and balloon ribbons from our beaches and even witnessed a seagull chick being dragged under the waves because it's legs were tangled in balloon ribbon. And then of course there are the cases we don't see. Ceredigion has recently banned sky lantern releases and now needs to join the rest of the British and Welsh counties that have banned balloon releases. This means a blanket ban, not just on council land - balloons travel and that's half the problem!

• The main types of balloons are latex (rubber) and foil (also known as mylar).
• The majority of balloons used in intentional releases are latex, also known as biodegradable balloons – but even they can take several months, if not years, to break down.
• Because of the threat posed to wildlife by balloons, releases have been banned by over 20 local authorities in the UK.
• Helium - the gas used to fill balloons for releases - is running out...even more reason to conserve what stocks we have left and not waste it on a few seconds of enjoyment. Helium is used to purge rocket engines for NASA and the military. It is crucial for diving equipment, particle accelerators, and MRI scanners.
• The International Coastal Clean-up (which has involved millions of volunteers in over 150 countries cleaning beaches and rivers) revealed that 1,248,892 balloon litter items have been recorded washed up on beaches over the last 25 years!
• 10% of balloons that are released, and that don’t burst, still return to earth or sea intact or partially inflated where they pose a serious threat to wildlife.
• Balloons can be transported long distances by air currents and can easily be blown thousands of miles from their release point. Balloons released in Cardiff were found in Germany!!

Balloons are often let go by charities, schools, playgroups and
clubs as fundraisers, at weddings, christenings and birthdays as an act
of celebration, or by businesses to put their brand ‘out there’.
MCS has come up with some alternatives to balloons and lantern releases that are environmentally friendly and just as much fun! >>>

* Balloon sculpture. Turn balloons into something stunning instead of something lethal. 

*  Flags, banners & pop-ups for promotional material.

* Virtual balloons & races - Our friends at RSPB have launched a new virtual balloon race where you can design and personalise your balloon and then track it on Google maps, whilst never letting go! has allowed over seven million people to let go of a balloon virtually whether for loved ones or for causes that matter.Get involved with no risk to the environment.

* Light candles for your loved ones. 

* Plant a tree to remember a loved one: You could do this via the Woodwatch plant-a-tree scheme where you can also dedicate a tree to a loved one: 

The evidence against balloon releases has stacked up. It's out there floating around in our oceans, messing up our beaches and blocking the bellies of sea creatures and birds. There are plenty of alternatives. Yet Ceredigion still regularly sees balloon releases. Having fun, promoting businesses and remembering loved ones shouldn't have to cost the Earth. Please sign and share the petition to have balloon releases banned in Ceredigion, DIOLCH, THANKYOU! :) 




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