U.S. cities including Seattle, Santa Barbara and San Francisco, along with entire countries like the United Kingdom, have made moves to ban single-use plastic straws to fight the ever-growing plastic pollution issue. Now, they’re coming for your party balloons.
Back in April, New Shoreham, a small town of about 1,000 in Rhode Island, banned all balloons because they “determined that balloons pose a risk and nuisance to the environment, particularly to wildlife and marine animals, so as to constitute a public nuisance.”
More recently, Clemson University has ended their tradition of releasing 10,000 balloons into the air before the start of their games.
While reducing the amount of waste -- particularly waste that takes a long time to break down -- is definitely an important thing for everyone to be doing, groups advocating for these trendy plastic bans don’t seem to get that they aren’t really doing very much for the environment.
A survey found that 46 percent of plastic ocean waste came from one single product -- and it wasn’t straws, disposable cutlery or balloons. It was fishing nets. In fact, fishing gear in general is reportedly the biggest culprit of plastic pollution in the ocean.
On top of that, industrialized countries like the United States and the United Kingdom aren’t the biggest polluters when it comes to plastic waste.
According to a study done by WasteAid UK, a group that aims to create “a world with equal access to waste services for all,” found that 50 to 70 percent of plastic pollution entering the oceans comes from developing nations.
Still, that doesn’t seem to stop liberals from trying to deprive everyone of the smallest things, like straws and balloons.
"The issue of straws has really broadened the marine debris issue," said Emma Tonge of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). “People might not realize balloons are a danger, she says, because of their ‘light and whimsical’ image.”