A plan to break records by releasing 130,000 balloons at a resort in the Philippines on New Year’s Eve has been cancelled after a backlash over its potential environmental impact.
The party, at Okada Manila, is being headlined by British DJ Pete Tong.
Organisers had insisted the indoor event held no environmental risk as the balloons would be recycled.
But on Sunday both the resort and Tong confirmed it had been cancelled after the government got involved.
In a statement, Okada Manila said it “voluntarily” decided to cancel the event “as a sign of respect” for the government’s campaign to protect the environment.
It came after they received a letter from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Sunday encouraging a change of plan.
The resort, part of a sprawling hotel and casino complex in the Philippine capital, had said that the balloons were made of “biodegradable latex materials” and they would be recycled afterward – not released into the air.
However its social media pages had been inundated with concern about its message, including from campaigners such as Greenpeace Philippines.
One petition, calling for its cancellation, had garnered tens of thousands of signatures before the announcement.
The party, at the resort’s Cove Manila beach club, will still take place without the world-record attempt.
In a Sunday night tweet Pete Tong confirmed promoters had dropped the balloon stunt.
In the posts below, people responded positively to the news, and shared images about the dangers of plastic pollution.
Environmental groups around the world, including the UK’s Marine Conservation Society, have warned about the dangers balloons can pose to marine life.
- Sperm whale ‘had ingested 6kg plastic’
The organisation says that even latex balloons marked as biodegradable can remain in an ocean environment for four years.
Some places, including parts of Australia, have already banned balloon releases because of their impact.