Of the 40 balloons Russ reported, 31 were made of Mylar. This is discouraging, as despite their one-time use, Mylar balloons take a long time to degrade. These balloons were more likely than other balloon types to be found individually and still partially inflated. Rubber balloons, another prevalent balloon type, were more likely to be found deflated or shredded, and often tied together in groups. Many of the reported balloons also had a plastic string attached, creating yet another hazard for marine life.
Plastics and marine mammals
A post-mortem of the creatures, found ashore near the town of Toenning in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, showed their stomachs were full of plastic.
This plastic included a 13-metre-long (43-foot-long) fisherman’s net and a 70-centimetre (28-inch) piece of plastic from a car.
But ocean plastics pose a threat to a wide variety of marine animals, and their risk is determined by the amount of debris an animal encounters, as well as the size and shape of the debris.
Plastic waste causes $13 billion in damage to marine ecosystems each year, according to the UN Environment Program. California and cities including Chicago, Seattle and Portland have banned single-use plastic bags.
Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpted report from the Times Colonist, “Human discards mean slow torture for B.C.’s marine mammals.” Highlighted portions by Neptune 911. Marty Haulena positions himself atop a federal fisheries patrol boat, his CO2-powered dart rifle… Read More ›
WASHINGTON: Debris in the ocean, such as plastic and glass, has been having a life-threatening global impact on marine life. Nearly 700 species of marine animal have been recorded as having encountered man-made debris according to the most comprehensive impact… Read More ›