Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Cruise firm Cunard scraps 10,000 balloon release plans

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Media captionCunard said it had cancelled the planned release from Queen Mary 2 following a social media campaign

A cruise company has abandoned plans to release 10,000 balloons following concerns about the impact on wildlife.

Cunard said it had cancelled the planned release from Queen Mary 2 following a social media campaign.

Posting a message on its Facebook page, the cruise company said: "We have taken your advice and we will no longer be doing the balloon release."

The event formed part of the ship's 10th anniversary celebrations in Southampton on Friday.

Steve Trewhella, a conservationist from Wareham, was among those calling for the cancellation of the balloon release.

'Biodegradable means nothing'

He said: "Gravity dictates what goes up must come down - if we walked down Southampton High Street and threw balloons out of our pockets it would be illegal - but fill them up with helium and it's legal.

"I see precisely what this litter does to wildlife, biodegradable means nothing, if a turtle encounters a balloon when it lands in the sea it's game over."

Mr Trewhella and the Marine Conservation Society are both calling for a UK wide ban on balloon releases.

Last month the RNLI cancelled the release of 1,000 biodegradable balloons from Weymouth Lifeboat Station after supporters called for it to be stopped.

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