18,000 pieces of balloon waste found in Great Lakes

Categories: News
Published on: June 22, 2019

USA Today / Keith Matheny / 19 June 2019

Pregnancies. Births. Birthdays. Graduations. Anniversaries. Promotions. Retirements. Even deaths. Balloons are used to decorate, celebrate or commemorate almost every major life event.

But there’s a growing awareness that balloons released to the sky come down to Earth, somewhere, as litter, 100% of the time. And that litter, in addition to polluting the environment, can be deadly to animals that eat the balloons or get tangled in them.

Volunteer trash pickups found more than 18,000 balloons, balloon pieces or balloon strings along Great Lakes shorelines between 2016 and last year. That’s according to surveys from such events sponsored by environmental nonprofit Alliance for the Great Lakes.

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