5 reasons balloons are Bad News for wildlife.
- Balloons kill an estimated 1 in 5 seabirds that ingest them. The cause of death is usually due to the balloons creating a fatal obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract.²
- Burst balloons look like jellyfish to turtles, who eat them by mistake. Once eaten, they can wrap around other items in the stomach and cause life-threatening blockages, or even cause floating syndrome due to a build-up of gas – leaving them vulnerable to boat strikes, starvation, and dehydration.
- Balloons with strings are a dangerous entanglement risk.³ Marine animals who become caught in the strings can become trapped, unable to make it to the surface for a breath of air.
- Balloons can travel hundreds of kilometres after they are released. Some have been recorded flying as far as 800km! Once they pop, they fall into waterways and oceans where they endanger wildlife.
- There’s no such thing as a ‘100% biodegradable balloon’. Recent Australian research conducted on balloons marketed as ‘100% biodegradable’ showed they did not break down when subjected to tests, persisting in the environment and not meaningfully degrading in freshwater, saltwater, or compost.⁴
Despite all of this, many people still release tens or even hundreds of balloons to mark weddings, at festivals, product launches, or at funerals. Releasing balloons is a dangerous practice that is killing our most iconic animals – and it’s time to put a stop to it.
*The above is from the AMS – please click on the link.