They’re the colourful craze that have swept a nation, but are loom bands a looming threat to wildlife on the Fylde coast?
Everyone from pop stars to princesses have been seen wearing items made from the fashionable bands, which can be bundled together in all sorts of hues to produce wonderful creations.
But sea life experts at the National Marine Aquarium have now warned of the toys’ potential harmful affects on animals on land, sea and air.
The caution has been echoed by wildlife enthusiasts across the Fylde coast, who are encouraging children and parents to take care in disposing of the bands properly.
Alan Wright, campaigns officer at Lancashire Wildlife Trust, said: “We’ve got some fantastic wildlife in the Irish Sea.
“We’ve got already got turtles that can mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, and if brightly coloured objects are there and fish, turtles or larger beasts eat something like that it’s not going to do them any good.
“It might not kill them, but eventually it’s going to do them serious damage.
“If people are just chucking them on the pavement or the beach, we’d recommend they don’t do that, think about the environment and the damage they’re doing to the wildlife.”
Famous faces including the Duchess of Cambridge, David Beckham and One Direction singer Harry Styles have been seen sporting the bands in the form of bracelets.
However, the plastic rings have caused controversy, with Paul Cox, director of conservation at Plymouth’s National Marine Aquarium, calling on families to think twice before taking them on to beaches.
David McGrath, sustainability manager at the Solaris Centre, on New South Promenade, said: “Anything circular that could be broken is going to end up causing injury or death to anything that gets trapped in it.”
Paul Ellis, from Fylde Bird Club, added: “Any extra plastic into the environment is not good. There’s no need for it and all we can ask people to do is dispose of it responsibly.
“There’s an issue of sea birds eating plastic because they mistake it as food.”