Environmental activists are rejoicing after the first group of Maltese festa organisers have pledged to stop releasing balloons during their celebrations. Qormi’s Kumitat Festi Esterni San ?or? Marti have decided to take a more environmentally-friendly approach to their beloved festa and have taken Malta Clean Up’s advice and announced they will be stopping the practice of releasing balloons.
“The movement is unstoppable,” said Camilla Appelgren, the main organiser of Malta Clean Up, after the news broke. “I know festas shouldn’t be touched in Malta. I love them as much as anyone! But releasing balloons can easily have alternatives and releasing pigeons is a very beautiful one that leaves the audience speechless! Or soap bubbles!”
Malta Clean Up reached out to multiple band clubs to try to get them on board with her suggestions, and the group’s determination has resulted in the first band club doing away with balloons.
“I am trying my best to reach out to all band clubs and the parish in time. Festas are supposed to be fun and a celebration for life. Not death. If Malta indeed have religion close to heart, why not stop killing the earth as a start?” said Camilla.
The Qormi band club’s committee said they understood it was time for the traditional practice of releasing balloons to disappear
Having released balloons during a showing of a statue just last week, the committee said they will not be continuing with the tradition now that they’ve considered all the evidence showing releasing balloons damages the environment. They will be looking into alternative releases to adopt and to become part of their traditional festa.
Appelgren has urged other committees to follow the example of the San Gorg Committee, and to celebrate their traditions in a way that does not damage the environment and protects it for future generations.