Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ban Mylar Balloons

I saw this offbeat op-ed in today's LA Times that calls for the banning of mylar balloons in California as they can short out power lines and cause black-outs. The author, a state senator who introduced a bill to this effect, says Southern California Edison claims there were 470 black-outs in its service area caused by these metallic balloons last year.

Sounds like a typical California nanny-state measure, but maybe the facts really are on the banners' side.

The op-ed struck a chord with me however, as we found the carcasses of hundreds of balloons (mylar and other) on our recent survey in the Imperial Valley. I started calling the project area the "balloon graveyard". You can see two proud crew members with a bumble-bee balloon above.


Important Occasions said...


The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has called for the ban on mass balloon releases to protect the wildlife who they have found to be killed due to the waste effects of latex balloons. But is a ban the answer, or are the MCS guilty of using shock tactics to increase their profile ?

While they do have a case for the problem, further evidence needs to be produced to find out why sea life are interpreting balloon fragments for food. Would an alternative be to release balloons that degradable within a few days of being released? or remove any plastic fittings or ribbon attachments from the balloon? Another idea is to release balloon colours that do resemble food (No green colours for example).

Whatever the outcome, the Marine conservation society must work with the Balloon Companies and the UK Association (NABAS) to bring the concern to a conclusion. If the MCS succeed with banning balloons, the killjoys may be looking at criticising other businesses for their profile gain. Can MCS ban everything that may cause an accident?

Important Occasions
Balloon decorator Rugby Nuneaton Coventry Warwick Bedworth Stratford Leamington Kenilworth Birmingham Leicester

PBurns said...

"... must work with the Balloon Companies"?

Says WHO?? Oh right -- the ballon industry which so far has not given a tinker's damn about pollution or wildlife morality.

Unlike plastic bags, the need for balloons is ZERO (we got along for 2 million years without them) and if you ban mylar and latex, I am sure the MARKET will figure out a bio-degradable balloon Pretty Damn Quick (PDQ). Meanwhile, balloons are already banned from the U.S. Capitol because people released them and they littered up the trees.

Sorry, but if "Important Occassions" figured anyone is OK with wildlife mortality in order to protect the (laughable) balloon industry, they are out of their minds.

Party on, but rest assured that 8-year-olds will be fine without mylar and they will be fine without latex too if it comes to that.


Anonymous said...

There was a debate on BBC Radio in UK today about the "unseen" effects of Balloons on wildlife , never mind the basic visual, litter aspects .
These included the "degradable " ones which still take at least a year to degrade.
There was a caller who lost a prized horse 8 hours after ingesting a ballon , so it's the wider Environmental Impact
Assessment ( EIS) of ballons over their whole life cycle, which needs to be carried out, to identify all the "Hidden " impacts before a decision can be made .