BALLOONS AND THE ENVIRONMENT.
The Celebration Industry has long advocated for the widespread education of consumers to protect the environment and ensure proper use and disposal of balloons and celebration products. Our efforts are having an impact. According to data from the International Coastal Cleanup® (ICC), balloons account for less than 1% of all debris found during beach cleanups in the U.S. since 2015.
BALLOONS ARE UNCOMMON BEACH DEBRIS.
The amount of balloons actually found in the ocean and on beaches is insignificant when looking at overall marine debris. Recent local proposals to ban the sale of balloons are a disproportionate response to address an uncommon problem.
Loving balloons and the environment are not mutually exclusive. While misinformation permeates on the topic and is often spread by proponents of bans on balloons, consumers and elected officials can be assured by verified information from objective third parties like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) that balloons are not significant sources of ocean or beach pollution. And with industry education efforts, fewer balloons will be found in future clean-ups.
BALLOONS MAKE UP LESS THAN HALF OF 1% OF ALL WASTE FOUND IN THE OCEAN AND ON BEACHES GLOBALLY.
Of the over 5 million items collected in ICC-sanctioned beach debris studies in 2021, the top 10 items illustrated below made up more than 75% of all beach debris collected. None of which included balloons. From September 2016 to April 2022, 23,722 large items were recorded, of which only 0.4% were balloons. Considering the millions of balloons sold, this means that well over 99% of the balloons sold do not end up in the ocean.
NOAA Marine Debris Accumulation Survey Data,
July 2012 – May 2021
BALLOONS AVERAGE LESS THAN 0.77% OF LITTER COLLECTED ON BEACHES.
Over the last six years, 17 million volunteers have collected more than 438 million pounds of trash, yet balloons have never been one of the top 20 most commonly found items. Although more than 19 million pieces of litter were collected, balloons only accounted for an average of 0.77%.
International Coastal Cleanup (ICC)
Of the over 5 million items collected in ICC-sanctioned beach debris studies in 2021, the top 10 items illustrated below made up more than 75% of all beach debris collected. None of which included balloons.
CONTINUE PUBLIC EDUCATION.
The Celebration Industry has been actively promoting consumer education to eliminate the intentional release of balloons. These efforts have been working, making balloons a statistically insignificant and uncommon source of ocean and beach debris. Continued investment in educating the public about how to use and dispose of balloons responsibly is an effective, reasonable, and practical approach that allows people to continue to responsibly enjoy celebration balloons without necessitating sales bans.