balloons risk for wildlife and seabirds.j

Study Found Balloons Are The Highest-Risk Plastic Debris For Wildlife And Seabirds


Environmental activists and supporters are bringing issues to light about the perils of ballons for wildlife in the Great Lakes and somewhere else. 

Volunteers for the Alliance for the Great Lakes grabbed in excess of 18,000 balloons, expand pieces or balloon strings along Great Lakes shorelines from 2016 to 2018, the Detroit Free Press detailed. 

Lara O’Brien, who studies at the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability, said that an Australian examination distributed in March discovered balloons are the most astounding danger plastic debris for seabirds.


“I’ve seen a lot of people come together, gather and celebrate graduations, weddings, other celebrations, and they release balloons — and don’t really consider the consequences when the balloons come down,” she said.

During a yearly cleanup program, the Alliance for the Great Lakes found somewhere in the range of 4,400 and 7,200 balloons or bits of balloon trash on Great Lakes shorelines every one of the most recent three years. 

Volunteers for the Alliance for the Great Lakes picked up more than 18,000 balloons, balloon pieces or balloon strings along Great Lakes shorelines from 2016 to 2018. (CBC News)

The variety in the numbers can in all likelihood be credited to the quantity of volunteers on a specific shoreline in a specific year, not less balloon waste, said bunch representative Jennifer Caddick. 

“It’s really dramatic and troubling,” Caddick said. “It paints a picture of the bigger plastic pollution problem plaguing the Great Lakes, our oceans, and really the entire planet.”

Pamela Denmon, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scholar in Virginia, said balloons appeared on the shoreline is a “colossal issue.” 


“We would do a necropsy on a bird or turtle or other marine mammal and it would have entangled balloon ribbon all throughout its guts,” Denmon said. 

She included that she experienced dead seabirds, dangling from electrical cables or stifled around the neck by balloon strings. 

Five states have passed enactment to confine or boycott deliberate discharges: California, Connecticut, Florida, Tennessee and Virginia. At any rate eight other state councils are thinking about such laws: Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Maine. 

The Alliance for the Great Lakes found between 4,400 and 7,200 balloons or pieces of balloon debris on Great Lakes beaches each of the last three years. (CBC)

The Balloon Council, a New Jersey-based association of balloon retailers, wholesalers and producers, has spent more than $1 million across the country campaigning to change or stop proposed laws to confine balloons. 


“We’ve never supported or sponsored any balloon releases,” council executive director Lorna O’Hara said. “We want people to continue to be able to use balloons, enjoy them, and then dispose of them properly.”

Christina Trapani, a beach cleanup volunteer in Virginia, said she’s encouraged that the word is getting out on balloon litter, and behaviors are changing.

“The bottom line is, when you let go of a balloon, you’re littering,” she said. “You wouldn’t dump a bunch of uninflated balloons on the ground.”

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