The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has launched a new awareness campaign to highlight the dangers of balloon releases for marine wildlife.
The Don’t Let Go campaign discourages balloon releases and suggests more environmentally-friendly ways of using balloons.
Mass balloon releases have been banned by authorities worldwide, including some British councils, but MCS receives a number of calls each year from members of the public worried about the effects of local balloon releases. The charity says that surveys reveal the number of balloons and balloon pieces on Britain’s beaches has almost tripled over the last 10 years. Marine turtles and seabirds are most at risk as they feed on prey that floats at the surface – balloons can look very like jellyfish to a hungry seagull.
The RSPB has also urged people not to use balloons or anything containing string or plastics for fundraising events as they are likely to damage birdlife as well – particularly water fowl who can get string wrapped around their legs, become trapped and drown.
There is a free pack available from MCS which includes posters, factsheets, leaflets and postcards to encourage awareness of the impacts of balloon releases on marine wildlife and alternative events using balloons without releasing them.
Photo: blue balloon by Lori Sparkia on Shutterstock.com
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