These first leisurely days of 2012 have seen a few leftovers from coastal New Year’s Eve celebrations washing up on the beach. While walking, I’ve collected balloons in various states: from printed “HNY!” remnants with tendrils like a jellyfish to the full (deflated) monty.
I’m suprised more coastal councils don’t follow the Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s awesome lead, to ban the release of helium balloons. Call me a killjoy, but I get angsty just seeing kids’ parties at picnic spots beside rivers and beaches, decorated with balloons all itching to break their moorings and head downstream.
Because escapee balloons join all that other lovely plasticky stuff that pollutes oceans and kills marine life.
Contrary to what some balloon manufacturers claim, a lot of these balloons are still pretty intact when they hit the water; they’re a decent enough size to put a fat pile of appetite suppressant inside a turtle’s gut. Because balloons act just like plastic bags, and help starve a turtle by filling their stomach with inedible badness.
I know they’re fun. Yep, kids love them. I’ve been known to blow a few up in my time, inside, at my kids’ parties. Not, however, near a waterway. So if you ever see a strange woman cutting down, and binning, abandoned balloons at the picnic area of your local beachside picnic spot, I trust you’ll understand, and maybe even approve.