Friday, October, 14th, 2011 Featured Litter News Recycled Products - Unusual
by Danielle Cotter
Since I was a little girl, I have been afraid of balloons for fear of accidentally letting one slip through my fingers and inadvertently causing the strangulation of an innocent dolphin or bird. Upon finding out about an impending balloon release on campus, I shuddered to think of all of the wildlife it might impact. Initially I was reassured that the balloons used would be biodegradable ones, but upon further research realized that all latex balloons are biodegradable, since they are comprised of a mix of organic compounds.
animals. Because balloons are often brightly colored and drift along the surface, many marine animals, such as turtles, dolphins and whales, mistake them for jellyfish or squid. There are many reports of these animals dying after ingesting fragments of the balloon; the balloons get lodged in their stomachs and block the normal passage of food, so the animals die of starvation. Birds and marine animals are also often strangled by the tails of balloons, which do not decompose.