NYE balloon drop 'goes Pete Tong' over plastic concerns
A plan to drop 130,000 balloons at a New Year’s Eve event headlined by DJ Pete Tong has been scrapped after organisers were attacked over the plastic waste it would create.
Cove club, in Manila – capital of the Phillippines, said it was hoping to break a world record but the stunt was savaged on social media.
People accused organisers of being irresponsible and said the waste could end up polluting the sea as microplastic.
The club insisted it would be using biodegradable latex balloons – only released indoors, and that they would be recycled according to “solid environmental management protocols”.
However, the barrage of criticism continued, with people saying the plastic would still end up damaging the environment and questioning the details of the club’s recycling strategy.
“Being environmentally conscious doesn’t mean cleaning up a mess. It means not making one in the first place,” said Facebook user Jaymie Divinagracia.
Elmer Brion posted: “Whether you do it outside or within your premises, in the end the balloons will still end up as trash. Why not try creating a world record which is a win-win situation and is sustainable and beneficial to everyone?”
The huge indoor beach club and nightclub eventually gave in to the pressure, saying Tong’s set would no longer feature the balloon drop – but reiterating that its plan would not have harmed the environment.
In a Facebook statement, it said it had acted after government authorities urged it to cancel.
“The management of Okada Manila has voluntarily decided to cancel the balloon drop event as a sign of respect to the DENR’s recommendation and in support of the government’s campaign to protect and save the environment,” it posted.
British DJ Tong appeared to be relieved that the balloon drop had been called off.
He tweeted: “Just had confirmation by the @CoveManila promoters that the planned Balloon Drop on NYE will no longer take place. Full details here: http://okadamanila.com. Thanking all of you that raised concerns.”