Surf Life Saving Clubs to implement a balloon ban

Surf Life Saving Clubs to implement a balloon ban

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Northern Beaches Clean Up Crew started this petition

Surf Life Saving Clubs are all located close to the beach and ocean. With such close proximity to these fragile environments we ask surf life saving clubs in Australia to ban the use of balloons in their clubs - at all their events, including when their club is leased out to a private event. Some clubs already have a strict no balloon policy in place, but we we would like this policy to be nation wide.

Balloons are in the top three most harmful waste items to wildlife. Birds and turtles not only ingest balloons, they actively select them as food. Ingesting balloons, and the clips and strings attached to them, can cause intestinal blockages and results in a slow painful death through starvation. Wildlife, both terrestrial and marine, can also become entangled in balloon ribbons or strings, causing injury or death through drowning, suffocation, or an inability to feed and avoid predators. Balloons and balloon fragments are the deadliest kinds of marine pollution for seabirds, killing almost one in five birds that ingest the soft plastic, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports. If a bird ingests a balloon or balloon fragment, it is 32 times more likely to die than if it ingests a hard plastic fragment. 

Even if balloons are disposed of “safely” they go to landfill where it may take up to 1,000 years to decompose, leaching potentially toxic substances into the soil and water. Even if these balloons are biodegradable, it’s greenwash. Natural latex may be biodegradable, but after adding chemicals, plasticizers and artificial dyes, how natural could it be? It may degrade after several years, but it’s surely not “biodegradable.”

There are many other alternatives to balloons: bunting, bubbles, Japanese paper balloons, paper planes or origami animals, paper kites, paper pinwheels, handmade paper stars and pom poms or flags. Let's get Surf Life Saving Australia to lead the way for a positive change for marine life by implementing the concept: "Don't inflate to celebrate!"

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At 15,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on Change.org!