Balloon Releases

Promotional-Balloons-IntroWhat goes up must come down, and balloons are a really good example of items that can travel long distances from their original location and many find their way into the oceans where they have been found to be a threat to marine life and seabirds through entanglement and ingestion.

There are many ways that businesses can market their products that don't have the potential to kill or injure marine life, but in many instances the impact isn't thought of when the decision is made to use promotional balloons.

These balloons were all found in the Daintree National Park beaches after they had landed in the Great Barrier Reef and washed up. All companies have been contacted and made aware of this issue, and asked to review their company policy on promotional activities and balloons.

If you find a promotional balloon, please send us a photo of the item and let us know when and where you found it. Also consider using our Balloon Release Action Guide to notify the company of where you found it, and more environmentally alternatives they could use for promoting their business.

If you are a business using promotional balloons check out these alternatives.

From Source Reduction Plan to helium balloon ban

Balloons 3Once released, helium balloons can drift for hundreds of kilometres before descending, or bursting, to produce many fragments that also descend. Often these end up in the ocean. Marine animals can mistake them for food and swallow them or become entangled in the attached ribbon. Such encounters can lead to loss of limbs, drowning or starvation for turtles, seabirds, whales, dolphins, and dugongs.

At a recent Senate inquiry into marine debris Dr Kathy Townsend from the University of Queensland explained that balloons are attractive to seabirds and turtles because they look similar to squid and jellyfish. Intact balloons have been found in the intestines of marine fauna. Balloons are not digested and can block the intestines.


QLD Election Balloon Release Discussion

20171028 CK TBFOK Queenslanders, here is a big one. In an effort to get balloons on the election agenda, and into legislation for plastic pollution reduction, we'd like everyone to please send an email or letter to your local State Government representative. Below is a draft letter that you can copy, paste and edit (or feel free to write your own) and here are the contact details for QLD Members of Parliament - just make sure you include your name and address on your letter to show that you are a local constituent. 


Town of Cottesloe Balloon Ban

In February 2016 Tangaroa Blue facilitated a Source Reduction Plan workshop in Cottesloe, Perth. We were supported by Keep Australia Beautiful WA, Earth Carers, Boycott Balloons Fremantle, and a huge number of local community members and organisations. One of the items that the community decided was a problem in the environment was balloons, and Cottlesloe Councillor Sandra Boulter, who attended the workshop, agreed and started working within council frameworks with community members to ban balloons. Today the council voted unanimously for the ban. One step closer! Well done everyone involved, this is a prime example of how data can assist local community and government for a great outcome!Kids parties will be run a little differently in Cottesloe with the Town banning the release of helium balloons. The council voted unanimously for the ban, prompted by environmental concerns.

Balloons Blow NSW to LHI

Balloons on LHIArticle by: Karen Joynes from No Balloon Release Australia.

A bunch of four helium-filled balloons was released from an event in Western Sydney in early July. By August 2nd, they had travelled 800 kilometres to litter a beach at Lord Howe Island, a World Heritage Area.

Three weeks later, No Balloon Release Australia has had no response from representations made to the NSW EPA or from NSW and Federal Ministers for the Environment.

No Balloon Release Australia was conceived in 2016 to promote a petition for a national ban on the release of balloons and the use of helium to inflate balloons. It connects the many individuals and groups around the country advocating for no helium balloon releases.

The environmental impact of balloons is no longer doubted. They are considered one of three major threats to marine wildlife by CSIRO, and were mentioned in the Draft Threat Abatement Plan into the impact of marine debris on vertebrate marine life (TAP).

The formal petition, presented to the House of Representatives earlier this year, elicited a less than satisfactory response from Minister Frydenberg. He referred to the TAP and refocusing anti-litter campaigns but did not address the petition’s request.

The same petition on Change.org has nearly 7,000 signatures, yet there has been no further response.


Cottesloe does its bit for sea creatures

Cott does its bitFrom The Post - May 27th, 2017

Cottesloe councillors were nice to turtles on World Turtle Day on Tuesday.

They voted unanimously to ask for public submissions on amending a council law to ban the use of balloons, and smoking on the beach.

Councillor Sandy Boulter took to the meeting a big contianer of rubbish she had picked up during her walks on the dog beach near North Street.

"I know you might be disgusted," Ms Boulter said, as she flourished a perished plastic bag.

"This looks like a jellyfish. There's an osprey diving there. We have to protect [animals]."

Earlier Perth zoo vet nurse Lisa Hills, vet Erin Young and Conservation Council directory Piers Verstegen urged councillors to proceed with the balloon ban.

"Today is World Turtle Day," Ms Hills said. "Please take that into consideration."

Some people in the public gallery gasped when Dr Young showed photos of what plastic litter did to animals.

"We need to stop treating [the oceans] like a rubbish dump," she said. 

She said she had once had to put down a sea turtle with severe internal injures from plastic litter.

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