Ballooning Out of Control

Balloons of all types can kill or injure wildlife through both ingestion and entanglement. Those threats are greatly increased by organized balloon releases. Marine mammals, birds, and sea turtles often become entangled in the attached strings or ribbons. In fact, studies indicate that balloons are disproportionately ingested by turtles because they resemble jellyfish or other food sources. And that balloon litter is a major risk factor to a sea bird’s life. 

People often release balloons as a form of celebration or as a memorial but there are better and safer ways to do a send-off. Flying kites, paper airplanes, blowing bubbles or planting native trees are far more eco-friendly.  For more ideas, visit https://joyfulsendoff.org/fun-picture-perfect-ideas/.

What We’re Doing

Our partners are working on reducing the intentional release of balloons through public awareness and education. Use the following fliers to spread awareness about responsible ballooning practices. Click on each flier image for the full document.

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We also support state and local legislation to stop intentional releases. In New Jersey, 25 municipalities have passed local ordinances.  At the State level, there is an active bill (A3784/S2468) with bi-partisan support.

In 2019, East Hampton, NY passed a local ordinance banning intentional outdoor balloon releases. NY State has a bill pending for Statewide legislation that prohibits intentionally releasing outdoor balloons (A04754).

For more information on model balloon ordinances, please contact us at plasticfreewaters@gmail.com.