A COUNCIL is taking a stand against 'sky tipping' as sky lanterns and balloon debris is blighting Anglesey's coastal path.

The remnants of a staggering 879 balloons and lanterns were found on and around the scenic route in 2017 by the ‘Friends of the Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path (FOACP)

It has led to the coining of the term “sky tipping” to describe the release of helium balloons and paper lanterns into the sky, which eventually fall back to earth, causing a "devastating impact" on the environment.

They can cause fires, harm wildlife as well as causing a littering problem in the countryside.

The island's county council banned the release of sky lanterns and balloons on its own land in November 2017, but the problem still exists in other areas.

Many of balloons and lanterns found are branded with the names and logos of businesses and organisations.

Now, Anglesey’s Countryside and AONB team is urging people and businesses to reconsider using balloons at events, and to consider the long-term effect on the environment and wildlife

As Major Projects and Economic Development portfolio holder, Councillor Carwyn Jones, has responsibility for the Council’s Tourism, Countryside and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) activities.

Cllr Jones said, “We know sky lanterns and balloons can be a popular part of celebrations, but ‘sky tipping’ is a real problem.

"We are urging members of the public and businesses to think twice before releasing balloons and lanterns into the sky.

"Once the balloons and lanterns reach the ground, they pose a serious and dangerous threat to wildlife and animals. Balloons, in particular, are often mistaken for food by many species of wildlife.

"Unfortunately, once balloons have been eaten they can block digestive systems and cause animals to starve. The string on balloons can also entangle and trap animals.”

“Our Island is home to the largest Area of Natural Beauty (AONB) in Wales, so it is vital that it is kept clean and litter free.”

Property and Waste Management portfolio holder, Councillor Bob Parry, added,

“As soon as these balloons and lanterns reach the ground they pose a significant threat to the environment and wildlife. We want to raise more awareness of this littering problem.”

“Anglesey is a beautiful place, and we must all work together to retain its reputation as a natural and clean island.”

The action reflects one of the key objectives of the Council Plan 2017-2022, to work in partnership with communities, ensuring that they can cope effectively with change and developments, whilst protecting the natural environment.