For over 30 years Clemson University has been trashing the Earth with balloons. It all started back in 1983 with their record-breaking release of 363,729 balloons. Proud of their “accomplishment,” they decided to make it a tradition to release balloons at every home football game, sending thousands of balloons to litter the world every time the players storm the field.
Over the years Clemson’s mass littering events have drawn much concern. The links included reveal the great lengths this South Carolina university has gone to defend and justify their school sanctioned littering.
Back in 2006, after receiving complaints, the president of CU asked for a report from Central Spirit. The report he received the following year was laden with balloon industry propaganda NS recited the balloon industry’s own bogus “study.” The 5-page report was said to have squashed the “litter controversy” and their balloons “pose no threat to the environment.” The administrative body approved the continuing release of the balloons.
In 2010, a group of Belton Elementary students proposed a bill to protect the state reptile: the loggerhead sea turtle. Some folks at Clemson were angered by the kids because the bill threatened to put an end to their celebratory pollution.
Then, the Creative Inquiry. Clemson would study distance traveled by balloons, their rate of degradation, the impact on animals from balloon consumption, and the public opinion of the balloon release.
Their 6-month study, completed in 2012, showed the balloons could travel hundreds of miles, they could take months to break down to a brittle stage and balloons submerged in water degraded more slowly, outlasting the study (the balloons in the river trial were lost after being “washed away”). Out of 5,600 tagged balloons, only 40 were found. 81% of the balloons retained their mass in large pieces, thus, “potentially posing a threat to wildlife.” The public opinion poll revealed balloon releases during pre-game were of less value to sports patrons than other aspects of the game day event NS 42% believed latex balloon releases are dangerous for the environment.
Despite all the information from their very own study and after killing 20 quail hens, 20 catfish, 15 sliders (turtles, which still had balloon remnants bunched in their guts) it was shocking to find their conclusion was: “This study did not indicate an observable impact on wildlife or the environment from latex balloon releases…”
In 8 days, at the last game of the season, Clemson Athletics will commence with their mass littering events. We believe it is high time Clemson University stop contributing to this: Balloonsblow.org/photo-gallery
firstname.lastname@example.org James Barker, President
email@example.com Dan Radakovich, Director of Athletics
firstname.lastname@example.org Gail Disabatino, Dean of Students