A war on balloons is brewing, according to a new report, which notes that they may follow plastic straws on the endangered products list.
“The joyous celebration of releasing balloons into the air has long bothered environmentalists, who say the pieces that fall back to earth can be deadly to seabirds and turtles that eat them,” The New York Post reports. “So as companies vow to banish plastic straws, there are signs balloons will be among the products to get more scrutiny, even though they’re a very small part of environmental pollution.”
The report notes that college football powerhouse Clemson University, as part of its sustainability efforts, is ending its tradition this year of releasing 10,000 balloons before games.
“In Virginia, a campaign that urges alternatives to balloon releases at weddings is expanding. And a town in Rhode Island outright banned the sale of all balloons earlier this year, citing the harm to marine life,” the story reports.
The report adds: “Following efforts to limit plastic bags, the push by environmentalists against straws has gained traction in recent months, partly because they’re seen as unnecessary for most. Companies including Starbucks and Disney are promising to phase out plastic straws, which can be difficult to recycle because of their size and often end up as trash in the ocean. A handful of U.S. cities recently passed or are considering bans. And the push may bring attention to other items people may not have considered — like festive balloons.”