The CSIRO recently outlined balloons to be in the top three most harmful pollutants threatening marine wildlife. Every day balloons are released or accidentally escape from outdoor events where they almost definitely end up in waterways and the ocean where they can be mistaken by wildlife for food.


According to Zoos Victoria – “balloon-related waste is one of the most prevalent and identifiable items found in the stomachs of Flesh-footed Shearwater chicks on the Australia's Lord Howe Island. In many cases, adult birds are feeding their chicks this rubbish thinking it is food. Baby birds are often found underweight and starving and can die before ever leaving the nest.


Balloons are ok when used indoors and disposed of thoughtfully in the bin. It is when they are used outdoors that they could enter the environment and cause harm to wildlife.



Zoos Victoria are asking organisations and community groups to re-think the use of helium filled balloons in outdoor celebrations and offer a number of alternatives on their web-page including:


- Bubbles

- Coloured Bunting

- Kites

- Floating Flowers

- Plant Trees

- Candles

- Flags or Banners



Watch this thought provoking video from the Zoos Victoria Site