By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has commended the efforts of citizens in calling the attention of the organizers of the largest balloon drop pursuit to cancel the “environment-threatening” activity.
Okada Manila’s Cove Manila Club on Sunday decided to scrap its plan to drop 130,000 balloons to welcome the New Year and set a new world record, following wide criticism among netizens for its negative effect to the environment.
DENR’s Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) raised several points that make the activity dangerous to the environment.
It pointed out that biodegradable balloons, although made of natural latex, may take six months to four years or more to decompose naturally, depending on the amount and on the ability of microorganisms to breakdown large quantities.
“These are still harmful if ingested by wildlife and still contribute to waste, despite the observance of proper disposal guidelines,” it said.
DENR-EMB also said the regular coastal cleanup, which Okada Manila had participated in partnership with the Department not only aims to reduce litter and debris in the Las Piñas- Parañaque Critical Habitat area but to spread the call of ending the flow of trash at the source.
DENR-BMB discouraged similar environmentally impactful actions such as helium balloon and sky lantern releases and excessive fireworks display in welcoming the New Year.