Pollution

Impacts of balloons on wildlife and the environment

Balloons kill wildlife.

balloonsblow

Original post on BallonsBlow.org

Beach litter surveys have shown the number of balloons and balloon pieces found on the beach have tripled in the past 10 years. We’ve witnessed this increase firsthand, cleaning the beaches since we were little children in the early ’90s, we would rarely find them back then.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. The proof is in the photo gallery.

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. The animals can also become entangled in the balloon and its ribbon making the animal unable to move or eat.

Sea turtles are particularly at risk because they naturally prey on jellies, which balloons can easily be mistaken for, even with human eyes. 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.

Some states and countries have enacted laws regarding the release of balloons. The Balloon Council and other balloon industry entities spend millions of dollars lobbying to keep balloon releases legal. This multi-billion dollar industry encourages consumers to litter with their product. Releasing balloons should be included in already existing litter laws, after all, it’s simply littering. Check out balloon laws to learn more and find out how to help.

Tomiwa Isiaka
Tomiwa Isiaka is in her head a lot, so she writes, because that's what you do when you're in your head a lot.. She likes the sun, and that's what all this is about, environmental sustainability to keep the sun alive