Government officials in more than half of a dozen states in America are calling for the ban of releasing balloons at weddings, birthday, memorials, and any other occasion as soon as possible.
Critics believe the use of helium-filled balloons continues to pollute the environment, kills birds and threatens other wildlife when they fall to earth – even adding to the pollution in the environment.
“People don’t really realize that it’s littering. That’s why we want to bring attention to this,” state representative Lydia Blume, who supports the balloon bill in Maine, said in an interview. “It’s a common sense thing.”
The legislation aims at limiting the intentional release of balloons. The bill is now in the works in several states, including, Arizona, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island, according to Jennifer Schultz from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
California, Florida, Tennessee, Connecticut, and Virginia are the first states to have laws. However, California only applies to foil balloons, while Connecticut wants stricter laws, according to Danielle Vosburgh, a Florida environmental activist who helped launch Balloons Blow, a nonprofit organization.
“To pollute the environment and cause marine and wildlife issues is really not a good way to memorialize someone. There are plenty of other ways to do it,” Penny Sampson, chairwoman of the Select Board, said.