Why are students being asked not to launch balloons at graduation?

The Russian environmental operator (REO) asked schoolchildren to refuse to launch balloons at graduation balls. This was reported by the press service of the organization.

Photo: AiF/Vladimir Kazionov

Why are schoolchildren asked not to launch balloons?

The REO warns that balloons pollute nature and can harm living organisms. In the best case, the remains of the balls will be collected and thrown into a container, after which they will end up in a landfill, where they will decompose from four to a hundred years. Also, balls can fall into water bodies and onto the ground, which also harms the environment. According to the head of the organization Denis Butsaev,if each graduate launches at least one balloon into the air, more than two thousand kilograms of non-recyclable plastic and latex will end up in the environment.

The REO notes that latex balloons, which are often described as biodegradable, are not environmentally friendly due to the addition of plastic to them. Foil balloons are also damaging to nature — they take about 200 years to decompose.

 How do balloons harm animals and plants?

Some animals and birds take the bright remains of balloons for food, the REO notes. This can lead to blockage of the esophagus, in critical cases, the animals die.

Also, plastic microparticles are found in fish. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, microplastic particles in natural conditions absorb more than 220 species of living organisms.

In addition, balloons can provoke forest fires. They are easily wound around high-voltage wires and cause a short circuit.

For the same reason, analogues of balloons — sky lanterns, warn in REO. In June 2013 in the Stolby nature reserve in Krasnoyarsk there was a strong fire due to launched sky lanterns: the flame destroyed almost 3.5 hectares of forest.

Sources: https://reo.ru/, https://tass.ru/

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