Balloons continue to be a source of litter on New Jersey’s beaches as well as a real threat to wildlife, especially at the Jersey Shore. Balloons and their attachments also contribute to growing issue of marine plastic pollution. The number of balloons found on NJ beaches during Clean Ocean Action’s 2017 Beach Sweeps sharply increased over previous years.
Several states have outlawed balloon releases over a certain number such as ten, or fifty. But this amounts to state-sanctioned littering and we see a ban on intentional releases as more effective because every balloon released into the environment becomes litter.
The Balloon Council claims that latex balloons are biodegradable. We don’t agree. Other latex products such as gloves and condoms are not labeled as biodegradable so to claim otherwise for balloons is suspicious. Furthermore, the Balloon Council has educational materials that say never to release a Mylar (foil) balloon. This implies that it is OK to release a latex balloon. This is dangerous and misleading.
In New Jersey, a growing number of towns have banned the intentional release of balloons including (in alphabetical order) – Atlantic City, Bradley Beach, Brigantine, Cape May City, Egg Harbor City, Long Beach Township, Longport, Margate, New Milford , North Wildwood, Sea Isle City, Somers Point, Upper Township and Ventnor.
Cheers to Asbury Park for moving forward!