Releasing balloons may seem like a harmless and fun way to celebrate, but as Isaac Newton once said, what goes up must come down! This is no different for balloons that are released into the air, and unfortunately they pose a key threat to the Great Barrier Reef and our oceans as a whole.
Most balloon releases occur in suburban or rural areas. This is because the assumption that being away from coastal areas will reduce the effect of balloons on the marine environment. The Queensland government states that balloons can travel up to 800 km in distance from their original release point; this causes them to become a major environmental hazard.
Thankfully, there are a number of alternatives to balloons that can be used for all kinds of celebrations. Check out our Alternatives to Balloons Fact Sheet for some great ideas.