Releasing balloons seems harmless. However, remains of balloons, especially valves and ribbons are becoming a common and persistent type of marine litter found on beaches. Following Dutch Queens day 2007, large numbers of Dutch balloons were found in Normandy, France. Animals may become entangled in ribbons or ingest the materials. Even though balloon rubber quickly disintegrates, remains are found in 1-2% of stomachs of Northern Fulmars beached in the North Sea area. Children¿s contests, releasing balloons with name tags, are not the real problem, especially if no plastic valves and short, degradable ribbons are used. However, the vast majority of balloons released is meant for company advertising and provide just a very short moment of joy followed by a nuisance in the marine environment. environmentally friendly companies may want to reconsider such activities in future.
|Sula : tijdschrift van de Nederlandse Zeevogelgroep
|Published - 2008