And I thought I was the only moron in this tiny little island who bothers about the balloon release by Marriage Central last Saturday. I’m surprised that there are other “morons like me’ out there who care too.
I was cheering in my heart when I read the Straits Times Forum today. I could never said it better than you.
I HEARD an advertisement on the radio for the event Real Love Works 2009, at the Marina Barrage last Saturday.
While I applaud the organiser, Marriage Central, on its efforts to promote longevity of marriage in Singapore, I would like to ask if it is truly necessary to mass-release ‘love balloons’ as part of the event.
While hundreds of balloons flying off into the sky may be a pretty sight, people need to remember that the balloons do not just vanish or vaporise. Once they burst or deflate, they come back down to earth. While latex balloons are biodegradable in the long run, in the short run, they are nothing but litter and pollution.
As the Marina Barrage is at the water’s edge, the balloons that end up in the sea are eaten by dolphins, turtles, sharks and other sea life. They can cause serious problems in these creatures’ digestive systems, resulting in pain and sometimes death.
Ingestion of too much latex can cause the sea creatures to become too buoyant. As a result, they will not be able to dive into the sea to hunt for food, and they will starve. Ribbons and strings that are often tied to these balloons are not biodegradable and can cause entanglement and even strangulation.
Balloons that end up on land also result in litter problems. In fact, the mass release of balloons is so problematic, it is illegal in some states in the United States.
By all means, celebrate marriage and long-term commitment. But please do so in an ecologically considerate way, without causing harm to the natural environment.
Sheri Kristen Goh (Ms)
I find it amusing that people don’t see releasing of balloon as a form of littering. Just because the balloon look nice and goes up doesn’t mean that you are not littering when you let go of the balloon. I hope this forum letter will prompt NEA and CAAS to take action against future balloon release. I personally think that the 500 balloons limit per event is too much.
Check out the blog article by Wild Shores of Singapore.