Newport This Week

Ban Balloons

To the Editor:

Our beautiful beaches are the main reason I love living in Newport. It’s what attracts thousands of tourists to our city each year. However, this beauty cannot last long without our help. It is estimated that 40 percent of the ocean’s surface is covered by plastic, and this will only grow without intervention (“Ocean Plastics Pollution,”

As a community on the water, it is our duty to protect our ocean and the animals which call it home. Newport has already taken a big step by banning plastic bags, but we need to continue on the path of limiting pollution. One easy way Newport can do this is by banning balloons. Although balloons are a fun decor, they are ultimately unnecessary. There are many reusable decor alternatives such as banners and streamers that do not wreak havoc on the environment.

Balloons hurt our environment because when they are released in the air, they often end up floating into the ocean where animals mistake the balloons’ shiny colors for food. When animals attempt to eat the balloons, they can suffocate or drown. Even when the balloons are not ingested by marine animals, they can last for hundreds of years before decomposing, adding to the massive pollution problem we already face (Duncan). The few moments of joy balloons bring are not worth the lives of marine animals and the stunning natural beauty of our home.

Zoë Mermin

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