Warning: Those Colorful Balloons Are Deadly to Wildlife

Warning: Those Colorful Balloons Are Deadly to Wildlife

Colourful party balloons released by millions of people throughout the world are endangering the planet’s wildlife.

Every balloon that is released, whether it bursts or slowly deflates over time, MUST fall to earth eventually, where, at the very least it becomes part of the planet’s massive rubbish problem, or at worst, is ingested by an animal, causing a slow and painful death.

In 2016, a study from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) found that balloons, plastic bags and bottles were the three most harmful pollutants to wildlife. Balloons and balloon fragments are unable to be digested, and can remain in an animal’s intestines, blocking the digestive tract and causing  death by starvation. Ribbons or strings tied to balloons can also become entangled around animals and cause injury or death.

The Marine Conservation Society reported a 53% increase in balloon-related rubbish on beaches in 2016 compared to 2015 . Consequently, the ‘Don’t Let Go’ campaign is working at a local level to push local governments throughout the UK to ban their release, with 50 local UK councils already enacting such laws.

Balloon awareness organization ‘Balloons Blow‘ reports that the amount of balloons or balloon fragments that have been found in beach litter surveys has tripled over the past decade.

Balloon debris is a danger for all mammals, with deaths of farm animals, wild populations and domestic pets regularly reported. Marine conservationists report that sea turtles, all of which are listed on the IUCN endangered species list, are at particularly high risk as their natural prey is a jellyfish, which a balloon can resemble when it is floating in the ocean.

Traditional balloons take many years to break down, and even the latex products that the balloon industry is labelling as “biodegradable” can take months or even years to biodegrade.

Numerous cities, states and countries have enacted bans on releasing balloons: these include California and Florida in the U.S. and New South Wales in Australia.

Releasing a balloon into the atmosphere is not a romantic gesture; it is the same as tossing your trash out the window of the car. Every one of us can help to reduce this worldwide problem by continuing to build awareness, and seeking out one of the many eco-friendly alternatives available. It only takes one balloon to take one life.



Note: Please keep comments peaceful and family friendly.

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17 Comments

  1. Kylie T

    So important to realise what can happen.

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  2. Tisa

    Yes, please stop the balloon release. It’s not worth all the harm it causes.

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  3. Sheila Merry

    I can’t believe that face book thinks this is to offensive??? do they look at some of the things on there ??? I only wanted to to post it so people would be aware these balloons are dangerous to birds! ??????? how is that offensive?????

    Reply Report comment
  4. Simone Dail

    I can’t post this posting on my facebook page. I get the message that it is blocked because some people find it offensive? Can anyone believe this BS? I am outraged that hatred and violence is ok to post, but the truth about what we are doing to our planet and all its inhabitants is abusive!

    Reply Report comment
  5. Vee Bell

    I am at the moment trying to get my Local Authority, and the UK Government, to ban mass balloon releases. I suggest we all keep demanding a ban on this mass littering.

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  6. AM Pruitt

    I think of this every time I see people release balloons. Wether it’s a graduation, a death, an announcement of the sex of a baby, these balloons are toxic! Why don’t people know this?! You can commemorate graduates, honor people we’ve lost, celebrate the announcement of the sex of your baby, all WITHOUT balloons! You can release doves (in a safe area) and/or spread birdseed, anything but balloons. Those balloons end up killing our wildlife!! No more balloons!!

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  7. Laura Johnson

    Not sure why people feel the need to honor the dead by releasing balloons? I have seen time and time again animals entangled in the ribbons from these stupid balloons! Birds of prey think they are food and the balloon gets stuck in the throat where it meets certain death. People, you really need to think long and hard about our planet or we won’t have it much longer! I would love to see all balloons banned across the globe, but that won’t happen. It will only get attention when an entire species is extinct as a direct result of human stupidity.

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  8. claire keir

    They should be band I don’t think people realise what they do

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  9. ms

    STOP STOP STOP — STOP WITH THE BALLOONS — STOP WITH THE FRISBEES — these items KILL — the animals suffer greatly, unless intercepted by caring humans, prior to their preventable and needless deaths.

    Reply Report comment
  10. Roger Brenton

    Releasing a balloon is littering. Can’t understand why it’s so acceptable.

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  11. Anita

    Why is this blocked on Facebook? Censorship by immoral, that’s why.

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  12. cindi scholefield

    That’s a very powerful last line. I hope people read, and listen.

    Reply Report comment
  13. Misty

    Get rid of balloons and look for beauty in nature aka plants, flowers and animals. God bless all animals and the people who protect them.

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  14. Leanne

    People be careful with the balloons you buy. Better yet don’t buy them. Seeiously we are the wost thing to happen to this planet.

    Reply Report comment
  15. patricia franco

    Are you surprised that Humans are the dirtiest kind on earth who do not care for nothing but themselves. We need a reboot, wash away the bad, and start a new…sorry for sounding angry, but look around you, tell me you don’t see trash laying on the ground, anti-freeze floating in the waters, people wearing masks because the air is sick…I’m fed up.

    Reply Report comment
  16. Anne West

    I’ve never understood why people do this, I’m sure the loved ones the baloons are ment to honour and remember would not want an animal to suffer or die.
    Please find another way x

    Reply Report comment
  17. Janice

    I had no idea what damage a balloon could cause!

    Reply Report comment

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