PLANS to ban the release of balloons and Chinese lanterns have been backed by Conwy County Borough Council.
Councillors voted in favour of proposals to ban the release of all types of balloons on council owned land in a bid to reduce littering and environmental damage.
A report on the issue said that a number of requests were made to the council to release balloons as part of charity fundraising events, detailing how both foil and latex balloons made a negative impact on the environment.
Conwy Councillor Mike Priestley, who assisted with the drafting of the legislation, said the banning measures were crucial to ensure the authority maintains it’s stance against pollution.
He said: “Our duty as an authority is to not allow events, however charitable, to harm the environment.
“A lot of this stuff gets into the sea and is really harmful to the environment. As an authority, we can not condone activities that are harmful in this way.”
The report also listed a number of environmental and countryside groups, including the Marine Conservation Society, the TSPCA, the Tidy Britain Group and the National Farmers Union, that were against the release of balloons, with council officers drawing on several pieces of research detailing their impact on the environment when drawing up the proposal.
A spokesperson for Keep Wales Tidy welcomed the proposal, which will now go before the full Conwy cabinet on September 11.
“Keep Wales Tidy would support a ban on the release of balloons and lanterns. Both create unnecessary litter and balloons can be swallowed by animals and birds who are then unable to digest food and starve to death, whilst lanterns are a fire hazard and their metal frames can trap small creatures.
“There are plenty of ways to raise money for charity, such as organising a fun run or raffle, that do not harm the environment.”