Balloons Blow…Don’t Let Them Go! That’s the message we’re trying to get out. When we first started cleaning Florida’s beaches over 20 years ago with our parents, we would never find balloons. As the years went on we would find a few more here & there. Now, both in our 20’s, we continue our weekly beach cleanups & every year we find more & more balloons. Of course we collect much more washed up plastic than ever, which has caused us to eliminate wasteful plastic from our lives & try to encourage others to do so as well. But the disturbing thing about balloon pollution is that it is “celebrating by littering.” We have collected thousands of balloons since we started keeping track in 2011. Although the Mylar balloons are more visible, we find many more latex balloons, perhaps because the balloon industry spends millions of dollars falsely marketing latex balloons as “biodegradable”, “environmentally friendly”, & “safe to release”. However, it is these latex balloons that are especially deadly as their burst remnants actually mimic the food of many creatures.
It is very alarming, the amount of trash that gets washed ashore on our beaches, but it is particularly troubling that people release balloons on purpose to celebrate, to honor loved ones, or to just mindlessly watch it float away. This is the reason we had to create this website. It is dedicated to educating people about the danger and destruction that released balloons can cause. Animals – marine & terrestrial, wild & domestic – commonly mistake them for food causing intestinal blockage, or get entangled in any attached strings, both leading to a slow and agonizing death. Dangerous & costly power outages caused by Mylar balloons contacting electrical power lines effect hundreds of thousands of people each year. Helium is a nonrenewable resource critical in the science & medical fields.
There are countless websites & Facebook pages promoting balloon releases. Balloon sellers actively continue to deceive the public, pushing the sale and release of this wasteful, single-use product – resulting in the intentional release of millions of balloons. The industry falsely claims that balloons are harmless in the environment, but we show proof their claims are not true: www.balloonsblow.org/photo-gallery There are laws prohibiting balloon releases in several states in the U.S. and many countries around the world, yet many unknowing celebrators, grieving groups, and others, are arranging balloon releases worldwide. Honoring a loved one or celebrating by releasing balloons is irresponsible – like littering, it should be discouraged (including sky lanterns).
We are hopeful people will begin to understand the hazards & get creative & Earth-friendly with their celebrations, like these alternatives:www.balloonsblow.org/environmentally-friendly-alternatives , & we will keep trying to get the word out that:Balloons Blow…Don’t Let Them Go!