Please Consider these Pollution-Free Alternatives to Balloon Releases from South Carolina Department of Natural Resources…
Spring brings many reasons to celebrate, from graduation ceremonies to Mother’s Day. Some people choose to mark special occasions by releasing balloons.
The problem is that each and every released balloon eventually deflates and returns to earth, where it becomes trash that can endanger wildlife. Rains carry everything downstream, which is why such trash often ends up in our waterways and, eventually, the ocean.
“Sea turtles love to eat jellyfish, and unfortunately, balloons look remarkably like jellies when floating in the water,” said sea turtle biologist Michelle Pate. Research suggests that ingesting plastics does not typically kill marine wildlife such as sea turtles directly, but rather weakens them by taking up space in their digestive systems that are needed for nutrient-rich food.
The balloons themselves are not the only hazard to wildlife. Like a discarded fishing line, plastic balloon ribbons can entangle birds, fish, dolphins, and other animals, causing injury and death in severe cases.