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If you’re in Delaware, Maine, or Rhode Island, hold onto your balloons. These three states recently took new initiatives to protect wildlife and the environment by making it illegal to intentionally release large numbers of balloons outdoors.
Balloons can be devastating to wildlife, especially marine life. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) describes balloons as a type of marine debris, because 70% of balloons end up in the ocean, where animals like sea turtles and dolphins are attracted to the bright colors and mistake the balloons for prey. It’s easy for them to choke on balloons the same way they would choke on other plastic, and to get tangled in ribbons the way so many animals get caught in fishing nets.
Balloon bans are popping up into existence around the globe and the United States. You can check out this list of places with balloon laws, and read more about other balloon bans in One Green Planet:
- Victory! Gibraltar to End Annual Balloon Release to Protect Sea Turtles and Other Marine Animals
- Win for Sea Turtles! Fort Lauderdale Bans Balloon Festivals to Protect the Oceans
- One of Australia’s Largest City Councils Just Banned Balloons From Public Events to Help Protect Wildlife
You can also learn about alternatives to balloon releases right here in One Green Planet and learn more about why this is so harmful below
- How Balloon Releases Harm Wildlife
- Balloon Releases Are Killing Wildlife and Marine Animals – Here’s What You Can Do Instead
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