Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Port St Mary bans balloon and lantern releases

Marine Plastic Image copyright plasticoceans.uk
Image caption The Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch said balloons regularly end up in the sea

A Manx local authority has banned the release of balloons and sky lanterns from its land and properties.

Port St Mary Commissioners said a complete ban would be introduced after the board unanimously backed the move.

A spokeswoman said its members were concerned about plastic pollution, especially in the marine environment.

The Manx Wildlife Trust recently criticised a large balloon release in Belfast, which they said could have a "horrendous" impact on local wildlife.

Image copyright Dave Kneale
Image caption Port St Mary is located in the south-western part of the island

Port St Mary chairwoman Dr Michelle Haywood said a number of local authorities across the UK and Ireland had taken a similar steps.

"We are surrounded by coastline and it is inevitable that the plastic waste would end up in the sea," she said.

"We don't want to see that sort of littering."

Releases will also be prohibited as part of the rental agreement for the Town Hall, though the ban will not be introduced in bye-laws until a public consultation is held.

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