Galveston city council recently had a unanimous vote to ban the intentional releasing of balloons out of doors. The new ordinance states that intentionally releasing a balloon outside is considered to be a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $200.
This decision was made in an effort to mitigate the plastic waste and pollution caused by balloons releases, as well as the harm to the environment and wildlife. Releasing balloons is in the top three most harmful pollutants to the environment and wildlife. It can even be harmful to domestic animals like dogs, cats, and cows. Balloons are also often a higher risk for marine life and seabirds as they imitate jellyfish and other creatures lower on the food scale. Thus, animals may ingest the balloons and eventually die from starvation as they cannot digest them.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said, “Once balloons enter the ocean, they can become yet another hazard for marine wildlife. Balloons can be mistaken for food, and if eaten and ingested. Balloons and other marine debris can lead to loss of nutrition, internal injury, starvation, and death. String or ribbon that is often found attached to balloons can cause entanglement. String can wrap around marine life causing injury, illness, and suffocation.”
This is especially concerning since balloons are often released in larger numbers, causing an incalculable amount of damage as they travel.
Galveston city is one of the very few places to take a stand against this harmful source of pollution.
Sign this petition demanding a ban on balloon releases in the U.S.
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