Maltese Banter on anything Environmentally or Culturally interesting!
Maltese Environment

Stop polluting the Maltese environment with your STUPID helium balloons

The annual President’s Solidarity Fun Run was held this weekend on Sunday the 15th of November. This event is organised by the Malta Community Chest Fund with the aim of collecting funds for Maltese charities. Thousands of people eagerly await this event, which showcases the generosity and community spirit that is typical of the Maltese. But for the love of God, can the organiser please ensure that they do not pollute the environment with their stupid Banif branded helium balloons?

I wonder how many of these balloons have made their way to the Grand Harbour and Marsamxett Harbour around Valletta?

I wonder how many of these balloons have made their way to the Grand Harbour and Marsamxett Harbour around Valletta? (Photo Credit: A. Cutajar/Facebook)

I cannot possibly understand why the organisers of such a huge event can keep on doing these silly things in 2015. The solution is simple; do not fill the balloons with helium so that they can be disposed of properly when they are popped!

When the Inspire Foundation held a water balloon fight towards the end of August, also a charitable event, they had the good sense to use sea water as opposed to fresh water. Kudos to them for managing to organise a good charity event and also use it as a pretext of educating the public about the importance of water conservation.

In case you are wondering, balloons have a significant negative impact on the environment. When you release a balloon, you are essentially releasing a piece of plastic that will eventually fall back to the Earth. Since these balloons can travel hundreds of miles before they pop, they would most certainly fall into the Mediterranean Sea when released from an Island like Malta.

There has been an increasingly strong lobby pushing for the ban of helium balloons, as echoed by the Royal Institution and by other chemists who have also pointed out that these decorations are using too much Helium, which is a scarce and important element with other more important applications.

Balloon pollution (Photo credit: balloonsblow)

As with other forms of plastic, they litter our oceans, kill wildlife and pollute pristine areas around the world. Can anyone from Banif bank potentially let us know if they plan to collect every single balloon released into the Maltese countryside and sea? They should really consider updating their CSR policies, but I guess a simple beach clean-up activity will help them atone for the pollution they are contributing to.

And I am not trying to be a buzz kill or to take away from the importance of such charity events, but it is about time that people start thinking about the consequences of their actions. Charity begins at home, so please respect your environment!

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