Balloon releases. It is a subject that we regularly report on because we see (and help recover) the aftermath from our countryside, rivers, lakes and seas.
On 18 January 2019 I wrote that the 'Friends of Portheras Cove' in Cornwall, England had successfully intercepted a balloon just before it was blown into a field of horses. At the time I stated that it is no longer environmentally or socially acceptable for balloons to be included in the marketing toolbox. Just over a month later, David Jones of 'Just One Ocean' and 'Blue Planet Society' made Comic Relief aware of this, and successfully lobbied the charity to remove balloons from their fundraising packs.
This environmental hazard is slowly getting traction in the mainsteam media, but there is still a massive disconnect with balloon and sky lantern releases. The general public do not seem to understand they are releasing lethal litter into our skies and our seas.
We all know that throwing rubbish on the ground is littering, so why is letting a balloon float away seen as something ok?
Enter stage left 'Rubber Jellyfish'. This feature-length documentary will make its UK and European debut in Dorset later this month. It's been a labour of love for Carly Wilson because it has taken her three years to make this film. Initially she had planned to focus on marine debris ingestion by sea turtles for a PhD project. Then she discovered that sea turtles were eating balloons.
"The balloon industry is marketing themselves as an environmentally friendly industry, selling 100% biodegradable products (latex balloons). I could also see that there were scientific papers to the contrary but they were doing little more than gathering digital dust. I scrapped the idea of PhD and set off on a film to set the record straight about balloons".
It is hoped that this film will make the public sit up and think about balloon and sky lantern releases.
Don't Inflate to Celebrate
The UK based sky lantern / balloon release campaign group 'Don’t Inflate to Celebrate' has been lobbying about this environmental hazard for ten years. They have therefore arranged to host the European and UK debut of 'Rubber Jellyfish', alongside fellow 'Wave of Change' partners Creative Dynamo Ecotainment and Wimborne War on Waste. The date for your diary is Thursday 14 March 2019 in Wimborne, Dorset. Full details of the UK premier can be found here