Spider-Man’s Harmful Web? – 13 Years of Danger

In the new Spider-Man Homecoming movie, our spidey hero turns off the “Instant Kill” mode on his suit because he wants to stop harm, not add to it.

Unfortunately, however, Spider-Man balloons inspired by the film are now blowing into our oceans and their webs of plastic and string are likely to actually kill.

The picture featured in this post was taken this morning on a Martha’s Vineyard beach.  Ironically, our family just saw, and loved by the way, the Spider-Man movie in Edgartown yesterday.

Along with the dangerous deflated Marvel villain we found while walking today, we picked up 16 other balloons, which brings our count over the past 7 mornings to more than 150 balloons collected along the same 1/4 mile stretch of beach.

For well over 15 years, organizations have documented the dangers of helium balloons.  As an example, back in 1990, the New York Times published more than one op-ed that outlined the harmful impact of balloons and how a “baby 17-foot sperm whale… was too weak from starvation to keep itself afloat because it had innocently eaten a Mylar balloon that stuck in its stomach.”

We have documented this as well many times and wrote about it specifically last year when we helped successfully lobby the America’s Cup to stop future balloon releases.  As an update to a chart in that post, what continues to be the #1 type of ocean trash found on whale watches off the coastline of New Hampshire?

As illustrated in the chart below, which represents 13 years of data collected by the Blue Ocean Society and University of New Hampshire: balloons.

Like Spider-Man does, please help us protect our surroundings from danger.

Encourage your community to disable the killing feature of balloons by banning the sale of helium-filled balloons and prohibiting any type of balloon release.


For more on Clean Up Oceans and links to organizations that you can support, please click the following or contact Preston McSwain directly.

Organizations that We Support

Contact Information for Preston McSwain

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