“Most people don't realise the impact that balloons can have on marine wildlife and the harm that they can do when they're released or when they accidentally escape at outdoor events,” Sanders said.
On Lord Howe Island, east of Port Macquarie, more than 80 per cent of flesh-footed Shearwater chicks had plastic in their stomachs after accidentally being fed it by their mums who think that it's food.
Since Zoos Victoria started the “when balloons fly, seabirds die” campaign, they have had over 114,000 individuals and 180 organisations pledge to make the switch from balloons to bubbles at their celebrations.
“The first step is learning about the issue," Sanders said. "Just like individuals, organisations sometimes don't understand the impact that they could be having [on the environment].”
There's always more to be done to help protect our wildlife, according to Sanders, and Zoos Victoria doesn’t expect to see a reduction in the amount of balloon waste in the environment for a few more years.
“We'll be done with this campaign when we stop seeing birds and other marine wildlife entangled with balloons,” he said.