Ban all balloon and sky / chinese lantern releases in the UK

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Sadly some people don't understand that balloons and sky lantern releases can cause real problems. They see a pretty sight disappearing into the sky, and don't realise there is an impact.  

A release won't support the NHS at this crucial time. Instead it can kill and maim farm, wild and marine life, and in the case of sky lanterns, can cause uncontrollable fires that destroy life and property. This was clearly demonstrated just minutes into this new year (1 Jan 2020). Over 30 animals, including eight highly endangered great apes, a West African chimpanzee, two lowland gorillas, numerous smaller monkeys, fruit bats and tropical birds burned to death at Krefeld Zoo. The fire was started by a sky lantern. 

There are plenty of reports of burned horses and ponies. 
- https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/07/07/warning-chinese-lanterns-star-horse-set-fire/
- https://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/can-life-threatening-event-horse-burned-chinese-lantern-602247

SUPPORT THE NHS
In recent days we have seen a social media campaign asking the public to release Union Flag sky lanterns into the sky to support the NHS during the COVID-19 Crisis. The National Fire Chiefs Council has warned this campaign "is misguided" whilst former MP farmer Richard Benyon has responded on Twitter stating “on every level, a bad idea”.

2013 GOVERNMENT REPORT OUT OF DATE
The UK Government has been lobbied several times about this. They respond each time citing a DEFRA & Welsh Government Report they commissioned in 2013 and nothing is done.

"The Government considers the current regulatory regime, supported by existing information and guidance, effective and proportionate."

The DEFRA report is now obsolete! In March 2017 MCS reported 53% increase in balloon litter, up on 2015.

BIODEGRADABLE MATERIALS - STILL KILL!
It makes no difference whether the balloons and sky lanterns are made from 'biodegradable' materials. They can still kill, trap, ensnare, strangle and start fires whilst taking years to rot down. 

PEER-REVIEWED STUDY
In May 2018 a peer-reviewed study by Delia M. Webb was published that revealed 2,223 pieces of balloon litter were found on 39 beaches across Cornwall between July and December 2016. "Just a balloon?" (see page 14) reported that some of the balloons found on Cornish beaches had travelled from other parts of the UK, Ireland and Europe. 

The National Farmers Union, the Marine Conservation Society and 50 local councils want balloon / sky lantern releases banned. It is now time that this was made law throughout the whole of the UK, not just on some council land.

Marine Conservation Society Information Sheet
https://www.mcsuk.org/downloads/pollution/dont%20let%20go.pdf

Nowhere is safe’: Young horse panicked by helium balloon suffers broken neckhttp://bit.ly/2oV72r4

Farmer wins compensation after Red Nose Day balloon kills cow
http://bit.ly/2pu813a

Smethwick fire: Chinese lantern 'caused largest blaze'
http://bbc.in/2FY6SaX

Petition calling for ban on balloon and sky lantern releases gathers traction https://www.scubadivermag.com/petition-ban-balloon-sky-lantern/

Bunch of balloons in Billericay halts trains in their tracks http://bbc.in/2BSrdjy