Why Plastic Balloon Releases Are Terrible For The Environment And Should Be Stopped Immediately

Source: Forbes/

Photo: Ankush Minda/Unsplash


The Indianapolis Motor Speedway continued its tradition of releasing balloons before the start of the Indianapolis 500 this past weekend. The tradition at the storied race dates back to the 1940s. Balloon releases are  also local traditions at memorials, schools, weddings, and other events. In reality, it is increasingly known that random balloon releases have several harmful implications for the environment. To its credit, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway says that its balloons are biodegradable, but the Indianapolis Star conducted a study that continues to raise question.Irrespective of what the Indy 500 does, a lot of well-meaning people and organizations do balloon releases. Here are some of the reasons why they are terrible for environment and some potential alternatives too.

Balloon launches are bad for the environment in several ways, but let’s start with wildlife. the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) points out that wildlife can confuse the small, bright pieces of a balloon as food. In a website blog, the agency says:

“Balloons that are released into the air don’t just go away, they either get snagged on something such as tree branches or electrical wires, deflate and make their way back down, or rise until they pop and fall back to Earth where they can create a lot of problems. Many balloons that are not properly disposed of end up in the ocean and along shores, becoming marine debris.”

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Photo: Ankush Minda/Unsplash

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