Council leaders are supporting a campaign to ban balloon releases due to the environmental pollution they cause.
Durham County Council is among 32 local authorities in England which have signed up to ban the releasing of balloons, which are ofen seen as a mark of respects for people who have died.
Now, the Marine Conservation Society, is calling on members of the public to encourage other local authorities to follow suit.
The society’s Don’t Let Go campaign is also urging people to ban the release of sky lanterns.
Balloon releases have become very popular, many times for people wanting to show their respects to those who have lost their lives and others for fun at events to see how far they can go.
Thousands of balloons have been released across the region, including at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light and at Blackhall Primary School in memory of six-year-old Bradley Lowery, who lost his fight with neuroblastoma.
However, environmental campaigners are aiming to educate the public about the hazards posed to wildlife.
They say dolphins, whales, sharks, seabirds and turtles have all been killed by balloons and balloon strings through entanglement or ingestion.
Steve Bhowmick, Durham County Council’s environment and design manager, said: “In 2008 we signed a regional pledge to stop balloon releases on local authority land.
“Unfortunately since then we’ve seen a huge increase in the…
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