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2018 Winner - Environmental Protection

Zoos Victoria, Phillip Island Nature Parks

When Balloons Fly

Plastic pollution that poses a serious threat to marine biodiversity, with an estimated 650 marine species known to interact with plastic debris. Seabirds are particularly vulnerable to balloons and their attachments, which present entanglement and ingestion risks.

A campaign by Zoos Victoria and Philip Island Nature Parks known as When Balloons Fly addresses this risk and encourages people to use bubbles instead of balloons at outdoor events, to plastic pollution and save marine life.

The behaviour change campaign, which targets families with young children, businesses, schools and local councils, has demonstrably increased awareness of the issue. There has also been a decrease in the number of people who report they are likely to use balloons outdoors in the future, and an increase in the number of people who report they’re likely to use wildlife-friendly alternatives instead of balloons.

Zoos Victoria and Phillip Island Nature Parks have succeeded in empowering the community to switch to wildlife friendly behaviours that will help reduce the impact of plastic pollution on marine wildlife.

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Environmental Protection finalists 2018