Bursting the balloons on National Day

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© HM Government of Gibraltar.
National Day 2015.

FOLLOWING the complaints raised in 2015, various parties are campaigning early about the release of thousands of red and white balloons on National Day due to the possible pollution and adverse effect on the marine environment.

After a meeting with Lewis Pugh the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) “Patron of the Oceans” who has swum in every ocean in the world, the Chief Minister confirmed that he believed that it was necessary to consider the future celebrations to ensure that there was no damage to the ocean or threat to wildlife.

In response, the Environmental Safety Group and the Bluefin Open Water Swimming Club have made it clear that they believe that the release of the balloons is unfriendly to the environment and members of both groups have seen for themselves the damage that can be caused by introduced pollution.

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Whilst both organisations understand that the release of the balloons causes a great deal of excitement on National Day, they believe that the potential damage must be considered and that it would be wrong of government to sanction the continued release of the balloons, which is not the only way for Gibraltar to demonstrate its identity.

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