As we previously told you, several companies, including Starbucks, Marriott and Disney are doing away with straws over environmental concerns, and now a new report suggests another favorite may be on the verge of extinction as well – balloons.
As much as people love balloons, they’ve been a big issue for environmentalists for a while. Most folks love to release them into the air, but once their air runs out or they pop, their pieces fall back to earth, which can deadly to animals like seabirds and turtles, who’ll eat them.
While a ban of balloons isn’t getting as much publicity as that of straws, some places are taking steps to get rid of them. For example, starting this year, Clemson University will no longer release 10,000 balloons in the air before football games, and Virginia has tried to urge folks to release something other than balloons at weddings.
Earlier this year, Rhode Island took things one-step further, banning the sale balloons in order to protect marine life. And while that sounds like no fun, a rep for Rhode Island notes, “There are all kinds of alternatives to balloons, a lot of ways to express yourself."
Balloons aren’t necessarily the worst culprits when it comes to coastal debris, but they can be particularly hazardous to marine life. Although the Balloon Council (yes one exists) doesn’t necessarily believe balloons are causing the death of marine life, they do try and educate folks on being responsible when it comes to balloons. The urge the public to not release them into the air, and suggest weighted strings on them so they don’t fly away.