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Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From Mother Nature Network:

It's time to stop releasing balloons
Mary Jo DiLonardo
March 1, 2019, 11:23 a.m.

They’re colorful and cheery — and lousy for wildlife.

When balloons come back to Earth, they always end up as litter.

Birthday parties, graduations, weddings are all beautiful occasions when many people will celebrate with balloons — some may even release them in the sky with gusto. But what happens to those plastic balloons once they deflate? Where do they end up?

For years, many environmental groups have pushed for mass balloon releases to be banned — saying that balloon pieces and strings are dangerous to wildlife.

"They are a serious threat to wildlife simply because they are colorful and bright, so wildlife might mistake them for food, and the strings can wrap around their bodies and make it difficult for them to swim or breathe," Emma Tonge, communications and outreach specialist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told USA Today.

There's plenty of evidence to back up this theory.

Researchers in Australia analyzed the effects that soft plastics like balloons have on seabirds. They discovered that soft plastics are more likely than hard plastics to cause obstructions in seabirds' gastrointestinal tracts. Of the birds examined, nearly one out of five died as a result of ingesting balloons or balloon pieces.

Read the entire article here

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