Why We Need to Finally Stop Releasing Balloons Into the Sky

Curiosities
year ago

Releasing balloons has always been seen as a way to celebrate something. However, it’s finally time we stop doing this. A non-profit organization called Balloons Blow is pleading for everyone to stop releasing balloons in the air, as they will just come back to the ground and sea, polluting the earth and having damaging effects on wildlife.

Bright Side is serious about protecting our planet and all its inhabitants which is why we’d like to raise awareness on the subject of balloon polluting.

1. Balloons are one of the biggest dangers for marine wildlife.

According to a study conducted by the University of Tasmania, balloons are the number 1 marine debris risk in the mortality of seabirds. The same researchers looked at the causes of death of 1,733 seabirds from different species and found that 1 in 3 of the birds had ingested marine debris.

Additionally, research from the Wageningen University and Research Centre provided 5 facts about balloon debris and why it’s so dangerous to wildlife.

Once their time in the air is up, balloons return to the land or sea and often get mistaken for food. Not just birds, but sea turtles, dolphins, whales and fish have also been found with balloon debris in their stomachs or have been involved in ribbon entanglement. Sky lanterns also fall under this category and should not be released into the air either.

2. Latex and mylar balloons are actually not bio-degradable.

The 2 most common types of balloons are latex and mylar, a.k.a “foil” balloons.

  • Latex balloons are degradable, but it would still take them anywhere from 6 months to 4 years to degrade. That’s more than enough time for the debris to hurt an animal.
  • Mylar balloons are definitely the worst option to release since they don’t degrade and are far less friendly to the environment.

3. There are environment-friendly alternatives to balloons.

Balloons are perceived as a celebration of life and are used for ceremonies, decorations, parties and whatever else we can think of. But we should be more aware of the damaging effects they have on the environment and wildlife. We should never release them into the air but rather, dispose of them properly.

Mylar (foil) balloons can be reused and recycled.

There are other alternatives to balloons we can take advantage of. The 3 most popular ones are blowing bubbles, planting flowers, flying kites, using pinwheels, and releasing floating flowers.

Have you ever participated in a coastal cleanup? If yes, share the info and pictures with the rest of the community to hopefully inspire more and more people to take part in keeping our land and seas garbage-free.

Please note: This article was updated in May 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
Preview photo credit unsplash.com, unsplash.com

Comments

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Wow that is so genorous of what you did there. It’s so inspirational and I absolutely love this

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I had a sick cat come up to my house one day so I let her in and took care of her. She was starving, but also had some stomach issues and was throwing up and having a hard time pooping. Eventually, we found out why. Poor baby ate a balloon and was trying to pass it. Thankfully she did, but she definitely had to suffer through it. She stayed with us for about a week and then she decided she needed to go now that she was healthy and happy again. She left us and turned back to us and it felt like she said thank you and then purposely went to our neighbors who was a recent widow and decided she wanted the recent widow to be her human, which the widow told us was a God send. Cool story, but I felt so bad for her having to go through all that trouble cause of human litter. :(

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Thanks Brightside. Although, flying kites is also not a great idea. They hurt birds in many ways.

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