Australian city has decided to ban balloons under new environmental laws.
Citizens may face fines of $125 if they release latex, foil, plastic and gas-filled balloons in Fremantle in Western Australia.
Balloons are also banned to float off in parks, ovals, reserves, beaches, and parks, Perth Now reported.
Mayor Brad Pettitt said he wished the ban would be rolled out across the state just like plastic bans.
‘There is a strong expectation in our community now that things like releasing helium balloons, that obviously have clearly well scientifically documented the impact on marine life, is something coastal councils like Fremantle need to take leadership on,’ he told the publication.
Fremantle will be the second WA council to ban balloons after Cottesloe Council outlawed them in 2017.
Cottesloe Mayor Jo Dawkins said, after getting the evidence which shows that balloons harmed marine life we took this decision to ban balloons.
‘The reasoning behind this was, there are environmental concerns, fish and birds and other animals are being found with the remnants of rubber and plastic in their bodies,’ she told ABC.
The City of Fremantle decided to promote and enable the community to achieve high levels of sustainable material, in November 2018.
Under the policy, the sale or distribution of single-use plastics will be banned from City of Fremantle run events, along with balloons, confetti and polystyrene, and Styrofoam food and drink containers.
The ban could come into effect in just a few months.
Queensland’s Sunshine Coast has also already banned the plastic, and New South Wales law has a rule that means you can not release more than 20 balloons at any time, Fairfax reported.
Speaking at the time, Cottesloe mayor Jo Dawkins said the ban was introduced in the interests of wildlife.
According to ABC, she said: “The reasoning behind this was, there are environmental concerns – fish and birds and other animals are being found with the remnants of rubber and plastic in their bodies.”
According to Patch, Councillor Julie Lofstad said: “We need to change our behaviors and find better alternatives to products that harm our environment.
“Balloons that have been released or thrown in the garbage become hazards to marine life and land animals. They take up space in our landfills. There are viable alternatives, such as butterfly releases, planting a tree in someone’s honor, or using whirligigs to attract attention.
“If we stop and think about where these single-use items go after we are done with them, perhaps we will be more cognizant and careful in our choices.”