Norway Introduces One-Day Balloon Ban

A number of towns in Norway will be prohibiting the use of helium balloons during the country’s national day celebrations on May 17, 2018.

Committees in Stavanger, Bergen, Haugesund and Tromsø have all decided not to sell helium balloons in municipal areas on Norwegian Constitution Day, while Trondheim will only allow balloons on the condition that they are not light enough to float away. Capital city Oslo is yet to make a final decision on the matter.

A representative from  one of the cities that has said it will not allow the floating balloons which he claims do not fit with May 17th celebrations.

“We do not want helium balloons to be sold. There is too much littering,” said Stavanger committee leader Egil Olsen.

The director of a balloon business based in Oslo was given the opportunity to comment and said her company’s products were not the main problem when it comes to plastics pollution.

“It is not May 17th balloons that contribute to plastic pollution in Norway, rather plastic bottles and packaging,” said Lisbet McCarroll of Balloon Company. “That is the plastic we should reduce.”

According to Lisbet, Balloon Company sold 13,000 balloons to societies and companies in connection with the May 17th celebrations last year. She estimates it could lose up to 15-20% of its annual turnover if a national blanket ban were to be implemented.

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