Ban the Release of Balloons
This petition had 1,527 supporters
I am asking that balloon releases be banned in North Carolina. Neighboring states Virginia and Tennessee have bans on these releases as well as cities such as Huntsville, Alabama and Louisville, Kentucky.
"It's kind of sad that you can be fined for littering if a napkin flies out the window, but you can (legally) release a helium-filled balloon" - Billy McCord, retired from S.C. Department of Natural Resources
Balloon launches are often used as a form of celebration or to draw attention to a cause. However, these are nothing more than a mass littering. Just because they go up and disappear from sight does not mean the balloons disappear from the environment. Because balloons can travel for many miles before popping, they can impact a wide variety of animals from sea turtles and birds to big horn sheep because the exploded bits look like food to the animals. The pieces of latex can block the digestive system leading to a painful death. Strings from the balloons also pose a danger to wildlife since they can get wrapped around animals, essentially trapping them and can prevent eating, flying, and swimming.
The Balloon Council states that releasing balloons is safe because latex degrades at roughly the same rate as an oak leaf and that balloons explode at high altitudes into harmless spaghetti like strands that float to the ground. Which is great, but that time span is two to four years and a lot can happen in those years, giving animals plenty of chances for animals to come in contact with and eat those bits and pieces. While many balloons are made of a naturally occurring latex, they are still treated with chemicals and dyes.
From an economic standpoint, using balloons as an advertisement, celebration or other cause is a wasteful one time deal. The money is spent, the balloons released and everyone goes back home and that's that. Why not invest the money in signs, banners, waving noodle men or other items to get lasting forms of advertising. For school groups and charities, use bubbles, pinwheels, ribbon dancers, "flocking" with flamingos, and other fun things. Use items that can be disposed of properly and yet be eye catching.
North Carolina is a beautiful state and blessed with many unique ecosystems from the Blue Ridge Mountains to our fragile Outer Banks. Conservation is key to maintaining this amazing state. Please take the time to sign this petition and Don't Let Go NC.
Founder of Don't Let Go NC
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