Looe Raft Race June 10
Looe Marine Conservation Group launched its Throw Jelly Not Balloons campaign by staging a 5 a side jelly fight at Millendreath Beach, east of Looe. This was in preparation for the annual raft race in Looe taking place on June 10 (2.30 pm).
As the season of water events, festivals and regattas gets underway, the group is pioneering efforts across Cornwall to persuade people NOT to throw water balloon bombs into rivers and the sea. Balloon water bombs do not biodegrade. They are harmful to marine animals which mistake them for food. Instead, jelly made from agar powder – a derivative of seaweed – provides an ideal environmentally friendly alternative.
LMCG first introduced the concept of ‘Throw Jelly Not Balloons’ last year attracting attention from the media. Other seaside towns have expressed interest in following Looe’s lead. This year, LMCG wants to win hearts and minds in advance of the annual raft race in Looe. We are running a social media campaign designed to provoke a change in behaviour. We are delighted to have got such huge support from the BBC – watch their social media post.
Throw Jelly Not Balloons
“Our goal is to help people make their own conscious decision not to buy or bring balloon water bombs to water events. But we don’t want to stop people having a bit of fun! So we came up with ‘Throw Jelly Not Balloons’. As a conservation group, we’d rather not be needing to provide anything or encouraging anyone to throw anything wantonly into the river. The novel alternative of throwing jelly made from agar – a seaweed – which is colourless, odourless and environmentally benign, reinforces the message that we should all be thinking about finding alternatives to plastic that do no harm to the environment “ said Gill Bridges on behalf of the Looe Marine Conservation Group.
Looe Raft Race 10 June 2.30 pm start
Jelly stations will be located on the bridge, the pier, and at The Harbour Cafe, Catch, Plough on the Quay and The Lookout on the quay. Collect free jelly from 1.30pm or hand in your water balloons at these amnesty points. Bring your own container.
One hour before the start of the raft race in Looe, free jelly will be available from several jelly stations along the quayside as a token gesture to fulfil expectation. It will be donated to anyone bringing their own sandcastle bucket. For those who haven’t got the message, LMCG will be calling for an amnesty. This will enable anyone who brings water balloon bombs to exchange them for buckets of agar jelly. By agreeing to host a jelly station, several local businesses have pledged their support for the campaign and businesses across the town have displayed posters stating they are ‘Proud to Support #throwjellynotballoons and that they do NOT sell water balloons. The availability of free agar jelly will also help reduce the likelihood of dessert jelly being made at home using colouring and sweeteners. Agar powder – a catering product – is easily purchased online and from vegetarian food shops. The recipe and methodology for achieving optimum consistency was finalised after a mock jelly fight at Millendreath.
Agar Jelly Recipe for Jelly Bombs
Agar Jelly Recipe for 1, 2 and 3 litre quantities
For 1 litre of jelly :
- Weigh out 12g of the Agar powder
Place powder into a 1.5l or 2l saucepan
3. Add 1 litre of cold water
5. Heat mixture until with a lid on….. stir a few times as it heats …bring to the boil…boil for 1-2 minutes – watch it as it boils & stir again (the mixture should go clear but won’t be colourless)
6. Take the pan oﬀ the heat leaving the lid on
7. Cool for several hours with the lid on, until the jelly is cold and set
8. Make balls of jelly by scooping jelly with an ice-cream scoop + put the balls into a bucket
For larger quantities, use:
Use 24 g of agar powder to 2 litres of water using a 3 litre saucepan
Use 36g of agar powder to 3 litres of water using a 4-5 litre saucepan
So please share Throw Jelly Not Balloons
Follow us on Facebook and share our message to stop water balloons being chucked into our rivers and seas which end up littering our beaches and harming our wildlife.
Plastic Free Looe
In Looe, there’s been a very positive response to ditching plastic straws, and businesses switching to eco-friendly packaging and offering to refill water bottles. LMCG would also like to see the Looe community get behind this innovative contribution toward adopting the status of a #plasticfreelooe. “It’s not a question of stopping people having fun….. It’s about us thinking about the impact our actions have on others and our environment”. The dangers of releasing balloons into the environment are being taught in local schools through the ‘Hold Tight’ resource pack. The pack is available through an initiative by Clean Cornwall and the Cornwall/Plastic Pollution Coalition. And in Looe LMCG wants to share the message. “We think that this TJNB initiative demonstrates environmental responsibility whilst not diluting the fun element of water festivals and regattas. They are such a highlight of the summer calendar in our rivers and beaches across Cornwall.”