Towns and councils are continuing to press forward with proposals banning the sale and use of balloons in all contexts, following the recent news that three councils in Melbourne, Australia are in the process of outlawing all disposable plastics, including latex and foil balloons.
The latest attempt to ban balloons on council-owned or managed land is being undertaken by a volunteer group in Hobsons Bay, which is also based in Melbourne, Australia.
Environmental group Boomerang Bags is seeking to reduce consumer reliance on single-use plastic and has submitted a letter to Hobsons Bay council calling for a complete ban on the use or sale of balloons, following in the steps of neighbouring town Maribyrnong. An in-depth report will be considered at a future meeting.
Over in the US, Block Island – located off the coast of Rhode Island – is also targeting balloons, after successfully banning the sale of plastic bags from retailers on the island.
The Town Council has voted unanimously to hold a public hearing to discuss the subject in more detail. The move was based on a recommendation from the Planning Board, which sent a letter to the Town Council requesting the drafting of a town ordinance prohibiting the sale and use of all balloons on Block Island.
The Planning Board defined a balloon as a ‘nonporous bag made from materials such as rubber, latex, polychloroprene, or nylon that can be inflated or filled with fluid, such as helium, hydrogen, nitrous oxide, oxygen, air or water and then sealed at the neck, and used as a toy or decoration.’
Violation of the balloon ordinance – which is likely to focus on foil balloons – would be punishable by a fine of up to $500.