Great news Green Monsters! Fort Lauderdale has become the latest city to ban balloon festivals because of the danger they pose to the aquatic life in the area. The City Council voted unanimously to “prohibit balloons from city-owned nature centers, aquatic areas, marinas and other natural areas” as well. There are several things that happen when you blow up a festive balloon.
This is wonderful news considering there are several not so great things that happen when you blow up a festive balloon. Once deflated, balloons, and other plastic waste tend to look very similar to the jellyfish that serve as a food source for numerous different species of marine life – eating balloons instead of jellyfish is often a fatal treat for the unsuspecting sea-snacker. The plastic can become lodged in the sea creatures digestive system which results in starvation and, eventually, death. Balloons can also prove to be dangerous traps for the passing wildlife who can get entangled in the deflated plastic.
While this is a good step toward eliminating the plastics that make their way into our oceans and waterways, there is a lot more work to be done. There are over 300 billion pounds of plastic produced every year and nearly 85 percent of it is not recycled. And while some of that plastic gets put in a landfill, a lot of it makes it into the ocean.
Over 50 percent of the world’s sea turtles have plastic in their digestive systems. This means that balloons are not the only culprit in this disaster. We need to become more aware of the plastics we use in our day to day life and concern ourselves with where they go when we are finished with them.
Our oceans and the wildlife that surrounds them will thank you. For more information and ideas on different ways to celebrate, click here. You can also join One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign and start making a positive impact today!
Let’s #CrushPlastic! Click the graphic below for more information.
Image source: Sun Sentinel