Pupils from Keep Wales Tidy’s Eco-Schools programme are calling on the National Assembly of Wales to ban balloon and Chinese lantern releases as they are endangering wildlife.
Bryony Bromley, Keep Wales Tidy’s Eco-Schools Officer, said: "The lantern frame is dangerous to wildlife, posing a threat of entanglement and ingestion as well as contributing to rising litter levels.
“The farming and maritime sectors are increasingly concerned about the obvious fire risk and lanterns are also increasingly being mistaken for marine distress flares.”
The idea to try and change the law relating to balloon and lantern litter was raised by Cardiff pupils who were shocked by the effects the balloons were having. The Marine Conservation Society and Cardiff Council’s biodiversity department also backed the campaign.
Emma Snowden, MCS Litter Campaigns Officer, said there are many misconceptions about the effects of balloon litter.
She said: “Recent marketing campaigns have suggested that it is possible to carry out an ‘eco-friendly’ balloon release using biodegradable balloons.
“However research has suggested that latex balloons may take up to 4 years to decompose. During this time it remains as litter and is therefore a threat to wildlife whether in a field, woodland or floating out at sea."