Cove Manila under fire for balloon drop event

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 29) — A night club planned to break records with the largest balloon drop on New Year's Eve.

The Cove Manila, an indoor beach and nightclub located near Manila Bay, announced that on New Year's Eve, it will shower the area with 130,000 balloons.

Netizens were quick to point out that this might not be a good thing for the environment.

"Dear Cove Manila, we know this event sounds like a blast in time for the new year but we've never been this challenged with plastic pollution than ever before. 130,000 is a massive number of balloons and trash that could flow to the oceans in due time," said Grayson Yañez on Cove Manila's Facebook page.

"Not good to the environment another air pollution po. Some countries are starting to realize that it's harmful to the environment," added Bayani Zurbito.

The club tried to assure the public that the event will be done indoors and that it would follow the government's waste disposal guidelines, as to not exacerbate the pollution in Manila Bay.

"Thank you for letting us know of your concerns. These are legitimate issues. But rest assured that the preservation and protection of the environment is something Cove Manila—and Okada Manila, for that matter—has always been committed to uphold," Cove Manila said in a statement.

In an interview with CNN Philippines Newsroom Weekend, Greenpeace Southeast Asia-Philippines Campaigner Abigail Aguilar said that even if the balloons are biodegradable, it will still create waste.

"It's waste creation. Alam natin na napakalaki na ang problema natin sa plastic pollution. This is creation of waste na wala tayong assurance how it will be managed," Aguilar said.

She added that the possible biodegradable quality of the balloon is not foolproof.

"Hindi siya foolproof. It's degradable yes, but how long, yung length kung gaano siya katagal mag-de-degrade," Aguilar said.

There is currently an online petition calling for Cove Manila to scrap with the balloon drop event.

As of 8:00 p.m. Saturday, it has reached 29,000 of the 30,000 signatures that it needs.