Eurobodalla Shire Council has issued a challenge to other councils across the state to follow its lead, after announcing it has banned the release of helium balloons at council events and on council land.
Mayor Liz Innes put forward the recommendation at this week’s Council meeting which was passed unanimously.
Council say around 95 per cent of released balloons burst in the atmosphere and litter small pieces of plastic, while the remaining five per cent that don’t reach a high enough altitude can drift hundreds of kilometres before dropping on land or the sea, causing harm to the natural environment, as well as marine life who can get tangled in the strings or even swallow the balloon, causing the animal to starve or suffocate.
In place of releasing balloons at celebrations, Council plan to encourage alternatives such as bubble blowing, bunting, streamers, banners and flags, candles or native tree planting.
Council will now advocate for state and national bans on balloon releases, as well as for programs on the issues associated with balloon releases, and will also collaborate with neighbouring council areas and the Canberra Region Joint Organisation to support banning the release of balloons.
Photo: Council’s environment education officer Bernadette Davis and Mayor Liz Innes celebrate the ban of balloon releases at council events and council-managed reserves. They are pictured with balloon litter collected from the shire’s beaches, including one labelled promotional balloon found at Tomakin Cove in January, which travelled all the way from Alexandria in Sydney.