The Alliance for Balloon Education's (ABE) mission: To prevent the mass releases of balloons, and prevent balloons and their attachments from entering the ocean by providing education, alternatives and resources.
People, schools, businesses and sport venues across the globe purchase mass quantities of helium-filled latex balloons, transport them to a selected site, and then release them into the air. These mass releases of balloons are done usually to celebrate an event (i.e., weddings, political rallies, athletic events) or to promote something (i.e., store openings). Evidence shows that the balloons often have plastic ribbons, plastic valves and plastic disks attached. As they rise, the balloons burst or do not burst, but eventually all balloons and their attachments return to earth, landing in the ocean, on inland water bodies, or on land. Some of these balloons are eaten by wild animals and farm animals, and the ribbons attached to balloons have caused the death of wild animals due to entanglement.
Balloons and their attachments are not "environmentally friendly." Even bio-degradable latex balloons and bio-degradable cotton string can cause harm to wildlife. Biodegradable does not equal digestible!
Unlike other forms of litter, balloons are unique in two ways:
The Alliance for Balloon Education (ABE) was founded in 2010 by an international group of people who are concerned about the impacts that balloons and their ribbons can have on wildlife and farm animals. ABE members have set as their goals to research the extent of damage balloon pollution can cause and resolve this issue through education.
ABE is not “anti-balloon.” ABE would like to work with the balloon industry and balloon professionals to find alternatives in lieu of mass releases of balloons. Together, we can explore and promote win-win solutions, where people can still include balloons as part of their celebrations, and yet no litter will be generated.