Praise End of Polluting Balloon Release Ceremony

Target: The Self Determination for Gibraltar Group Chair Richard Buttigeig

Goal: Praise Gibraltar for ending their ceremonial balloon release to protect marine life.

A ceremonial balloon release that results in mass amounts of litter has been ended according to an announcement made by the Self Determination for Gibraltar Group (SDGG). SDGG decided to end the balloon release, which usually takes place every year on their holiday, National Day, because they recognize that it is harmful to the environment.

Balloon releases might look festive, but they are just another form of pollution—and a potentially deadly one. Most of those balloons will eventually end up in the ocean. Marine animals like sea turtles confuse the balloons for their prey, because floating balloons often look like jellyfish. When sea turtles swallow balloons, their intestines can be blocked, eventually leading to starvation. Marine animals and birds can also get tangled in the balloon strings or ribbons.

Gibraltar has recognized that some traditions must be changed in order to protect our planet and the creatures we share it with. Sign the petition below to thank Gibraltar for making a change that will help marine life.


Dear Mr. Buttigeig,

I am writing to thank you for ending your annual balloon release. As you acknowledged in your statement, balloon releases are harmful to the environment and to animals. Most balloons will end up in the ocean, where they cause intestinal blockages in animals that confuse them for food. Ending your balloon release was a necessary step in making Gibraltar a more environmentally friendly place.

Our oceans are currently in poor condition because of pollution. Every year, eight million tons of trash goes into the ocean, and marine ecosystems are being devastated because of it. In order to save the oceans, we need everyone on the planet to work together to reduce their waste.

The fact that Gibraltar has taken the initiative of ending their balloon ceremony is commendable and sets a positive example for the rest of the world to follow. I hope you will continue to make environmentally conscious decisions in the future.


[You Name Here]

Photo credit: Jennie Rainsford

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