MASS releases of balloons and lanterns will be banned on council property and at council events in a bid to protect the environment.

At a full council meeting yesterday, members unanimously backed a motion for the council to implement a policy prohibiting the release of the items on council-owned land, property and at council-licensed, endorsed or supported events.

The ban will be enforced at all council-backed events, even if they are not taking place on council-owned land, as the Gazette reports.

The motion was lodged by Councillor Jacqueline Cameron and seconded by Councillor Andy Steel.

Renfrewshire Council has now joined 20 other local authorities in Scotland which have already implemented a ban.

At the meeting, Cllr Cameron said: “We should catch up with the other local authorities. There are alternatives for people wanting to remember someone.

“For example, it’s quite a spectacular site when people float flowers down a river in memory of someone or you can write something on wish paper and set it on fire.”

Cllr Eileen McCartin expressed some concern about the Chinese community in Renfrewshire, as lantern releases are a key part of their culture.

She added: “I agree with this motion but I would say there is an issue with some cultural activity within the Chinese community. I wonder if we could get officers to contact them to ensure we are not causing gross offence.”

The motion stated balloons and lanterns pose a risk to wildlife, livestock, humans and property and the National Farmers’ Union has previously said it is in favour of a nationwide ban on their use.