Amsterdam stops bird-killing royal balloon plan


This video from the Netherlands shows a buzzard, trying to eat a balloon.

The mayor of Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, had a plan to have school children release 150,000 balloons into the air on 30 April.

On that day, Queen Beatrix will abdicate in Amsterdam. Her successor Willem-Alexander will become king.

Dutch environmental organisations objected strongly to the mayor’s balloon plan. As all these balloons would contribute greatly to the “plastic soup” problem, killing wildlife in the seas and elsewhere. This “plastic soup” pollution may kill birds and other animals.

How Balloons Hurt Birds: here.

The mayor at first said the balloons were not ordinary balloons, but special “eco-friendly balloons”. The environmentalists replied that these “eco-friendly balloons” were not really that eco-friendly.

Yesterday, the mayor of Amsterdam gave in and said that the balloon plan was off.

A victory for the environment.

If would be even more of a victory if the new King Willem-Alexander and the rest of the royal family would now give up their hobbies of killing deer, wild boar and birds.

A new study has found that balloons are the highest-risk plastic debris item for seabirds — 32 times more likely to kill than ingesting hard plastics. Researchers looked at the cause of death of 1733 seabirds from 51 species and found that one in three of the birds had ingested marine debris: here.

19 thoughts on “Amsterdam stops bird-killing royal balloon plan

  1. Republicans call for royal pay cut

    NETHERLANDS: Dutch republicans have a message for the Netherlands’ crown prince Willem-Alexander, who will become king at the end of April: You’re not worth it.

    Hans Maessen of the New Republican Fellowship – which seeks to abolish the monarchy – said today that his organisation is launching a petition to have the new king’s annual salary of €825,000 (Β£705,000) cut.

    The Dutch monarch earns more than twice the salary of the US president.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/131738

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  2. Good thing this is stopped. A victory for the environment, indeed.
    There is a haunting photo on the Internet of a decaying sea gull. In his open stomach you see what he/she has taken for lunch: batteries, plastics, and other waste. It is such a disturbing photo. I had that photo in mind reading your blog post.

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    • Yes, indeed. The plastic soup affects especially gulls and other birds eating jellyfish, as they mistake the plastic for jellyfish. But many other animals are affected as well.

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  3. 17-04-2013 | Milieu en ballonnen gaan niet samen

    Tijdens de viering van de kroning van onze nieuwe koning zouden basisschoolleerlingen in het hele land grote hoeveelheden oranje ballonnen oplaten. Alleen al in Amsterdam zouden 150.000 ballonnen het luchtruim kiezen. Een prachtig gezicht, maar uiteindelijk komen alle ballonnen ook weer op aarde terug en in de natuur terecht. Ballonnen en de restanten daarvan, zoals strikjes en touwtjes, zullen nog tientallen jaren het milieu belasten en zelfs in de voedselketen terecht komen. Dat laatste betekent dat het uiteindelijk ook op ons eigen bord kan belanden.

    Diverse natuurbeschermingsorganisaties, waaronder Staatsbosbeheer, Natuurmonumenten, Greenpeace, de Vogelbescherming en The Black Fish, deden een klemmend beroep op de verantwoordelijken van gemeenten om zich te beraden en geen ballonnen los te laten tijdens de troonswisselling op 30 april.

    De burgemeester van Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan, zag in dat het oplaten van zoveel ballonnen geen goed idee was en besloot de feestelijke actie af te blazen.”Er was nadrukkelijk gekozen voor volledig afbreekbare ballonnen, maar de burgemeester wil tegemoetkomen aan de zorgen die bij veel mensen leven over de gevolgen voor de natuur,” aldus een woordvoerder van de gemeente.

    http://www.waddenvereniging.nl/nieuws/?ref=nieuwsbrief#item_6958

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