Greens bill prohibits balloon release

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

The Greens (WA) introduced legislation this week that seeks to prohibit the use and release of party balloons outdoors, in an effort to amplify growing public momentum against indiscriminate plastic waste.

Environment spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC said the bill will provide clearer restrictions around already-discouraged littering.  

“I recently wrote to every single West Australian local government, asking if they had considered banning or restricting the mass release of helium balloons,” Mr Chapple said.

“To my surprise, 28 councils—representing a constituency of over 1.5 million people, more than half the population of Western Australia—responded and indicated that they had (or were willing to) debate the use of balloons in council parks and buildings.

“If the local governments representing over half of WA’s population believe the mass release of helium balloons is significant enough to consider restrictions, I believe the state government should follow suit.

 “The release of balloons is no longer an appropriate method of celebration, given its widely-accepted harmful effects in the environment.

“Every single synthetic latex balloon that has ever been released has come back down to earth. These balloons remain at least somewhat intact for up to 5 years, posing a threat to a variety of sea creatures who can see it as food.

“As it stands, anyone can inflate and release a helium balloon without any fear of consequence. This is because the current litter act only considers a balloon litter at the moment it touches the ground.

“If passed, The Litter Amendment (Balloons) Bill 2018 will consider the inflation and release of party balloons a littering offence. Officers will be able to issue a fine on the spot.

Media contact: Liam Carter – 0449 151 490

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