This truly breaks our hearts. Queenscliff Surf Life Saving club that is located meters from the beach and in close proximity to the aquatic reserve "Cabbage Tree Bay", celebrated the "State Nipper Team dinner" with lots of balloons.
Neighbouring, Manly Life Saving Club has a strict NO BALLOON POLICY. As stated on their website: "Due to MLSC’s close proximity to a sensitive marine environment, The Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve, the Club has in place a no balloon policy. Manly LSC may refuse the return of bond/cleaning fees if parties are found to be using balloons within their function."
Can we get Queenscliff Surf Lifesaving Club to implement the same policy? Actually can we get all Surf Lifesaving clubs in our council area to lead the way to a "no balloon policy"? If you would like to see our local surf lifesaving clubs to lead the way, please sign our petition here: https://www.change.org/BalloonPolicySLS
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. This is because a burst balloon often resembles a jellyfish, the natural food sources of many marine species like turtles.
Ingesting balloons, and the clips and strings attached to them, can cause intestinal blockages and results in a slow painful death through starvation. Marine animals don’t have the gastrointestinal pH levels to breakdown a balloon and for turtles, it may also cause floating syndrome. Trapped gases in the gut can cause a turtle to become buoyant, unable to dive for food—making them vulnerable to boat strikes and leading to starvation and severe dehydration.
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.
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. Why are Surf clubs using balloons to celebrate?
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.”
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