make people happy, but they also kill wildlife.
For years, balloon releases have been used to celebrate events or honor the memory of someone lost. Schools release them during football games, they’re sent floating into the air at running events, and released by crowds of people at weddings, funerals, and memorials.
And while those who organize and participate in balloon releases have the best of intentions, what they fail to consider is what happens when those balloons eventually land.
Beach litter surveys have shown the amount of balloons and balloon pieces found on the beach have tripled in the past 10 years.
While some balloons burst, others just gradually deflate. But they all fall back down to Earth where they can wreak havoc on wildlife on land, sea, and air.
Balloons can take years to break down, even the so-called “biodegradable” latex ones. This gives plenty of time for it to travel and encounter many animals that may mistake it for a tasty snack, or accidentally get entangled in it.These balloons just turn into a gummy chunk of gut clogging material.
Sea turtles are particularly at risk because they naturally prey on jellies, which balloons can easily be mistaken for, even with human eyes.
Balloons are great at birthdays, weddings, graduations and more, but once they get loose, balloons can pose a threat to many animals.
Dolphins, whales, turtles, and many other marine species, as well as terrestrial animals such as cows, dogs, sheep, tortoises, birds and other animals have all been hurt or killed by balloons. The animal is usually killed from the balloon blocking its digestive tract, leaving them unable to take in any more nutrients. It slowly starves to death.
In addition, many animals can become entangledentangled in the balloon and its ribbon making the animal unable to move or eat.
Balloons kill wildlife
This happens because birds and mammals love the texture and look of these products. Biologists think of balloons as having the same look and feel (as they eat them) as jellyfish, slugs, clams, flowers, mushrooms or other food items found in nature.
- NOT release their balloons into the air.
- Secure balloons with a weight.
- Deflate balloon after the event or use.
This addresses the problem. We need to prevent additional balloons from entering the environment. We do not need to pass any additional laws banning the product or use of balloons. The total balloon industry represents more than 10,000 jobs nationwide.
There is no reason to put any of these people out of work and deprive others of the joy that balloons do bring to children and adults alike.
If you know of someone planning a balloon release, please urge them to consider so many other symbolic acts that don’t involve the use of balloons.