The City of Worcester’s killjoy councillors are planning to ban balloons and parents are up in arms, according to today’s Times.
Not quite true. What Worcester has done has banned the outdoor release of balloons and Chinese lanterns on the ground that they create litter and cause damage to the environment.
Wildlife can and does ingest the remains of both burst balloons and Chinese lanterns – Guernsey has recently withdrawn plans to release balloons in celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday for this very reason.
Chinese lanterns can trap birds and cause fires.
Parents who complain about spoiling their children’s fun are doing their offspring a disservice. Most children are instinctively kind, thoughtful and more than capable of understanding that there may be a downside to what seems like harmless fun.
Sky Lanterns and helium balloons: an assessment of impact on livestock and the environment (DEFRA et al, 2013) – an independent, evidence-based report
Guernsey bans balloon release (BBC, 6th June 2016)
The problem with balloons and sky lanterns (Marine Conservation Society)
Balloon release threatens wildlife (RSPCA, 2015)