Balloons are used to celebrate and commemorate so many different life events. But when they’re released into the sky, they come down as litter. From 2016 to 2018, volunteers picked up more than 18,000 balloons, balloon pieces or balloon strings along the Great Lakes shorelines. Balloons are the highest-risk plastic debris items for seabirds, 32 times more likely to kill them than ingesting hard plastics. Only five states have laws that regulate the intentional release of balloons and at least eight other state legislatures are considering it. Unfortunately Oregon is not one of them.

18,000 balloons (pieces and strings) found in Great Lakes shorelines