The release of helium balloons in Queensland is now officially illegal!

The QLD government advises people that while balloons are a symbol of celebration, often used to mark life’s special occasions. It can be easy to forget about the consequence of a released balloon, the aftermath can be deadly.

Whether balloons are intentionally or accidentally released, they can end up hundreds of kilometres from where they were released, causing great harm to the environment and wildlife.

Releasing helium balloons is littering and the impacts on wildlife.

Releasing balloons is littering

In Queensland, the release of balloons into the environment is considered littering under the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011—whether released deliberately or by accident.

While a person may have the permission of the occupier of a place to release a balloon, once the balloon leaves that place it becomes litter.

The law does not differentiate between different types of littered material and whether the waste is biodegradable or not. The release of single or multiple balloons can constitute either littering or an illegal dumping depending on the volume of material released.

Look for alternatives like:
bubbles
paper tissue pom poms
candles, kites or pinwheels
flags, banners, streamers or dancing inflatables
flowers or planting a tree in memorial.

If the use of balloons is unavoidable:
keep your balloons indoors to reduce the risk of accidental littering
make sure any outdoor balloons are strongly secured
choose biodegradable latex (rubber) balloons and natural strings
avoid using non-biodegradable mylar balloons (foil-coated)
ensure all balloons and accessories (like clips and ribbons) end up in the bin.

Do you think this ban should be implemented in all states?

Share your comments below

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  • Not only do they cause a lot of pollution, they can also be very dangerous they sometimes drift up high enough to be in the airspace that aircraft use – including emergency helicopters and planes.

    Reply


  • Yes I think all states should ban balloon releases. The plastic debris affects so much of the environment and wildlife and for what – a few minutes of prettiness. Not worth it. We really need to be more cogniscent about our affects on the world and our use of plastics.

    Reply


  • I do think this is a great idea as it does have a negative effect on the envireoment. Releasing a balloon seems like an innocent and special thing to do but the effects stay with us for a long time. Using bubbles will also be a sign of respect and leave no lasting effect.

    Reply


  • Shame it had to come to this and people can’t just be responsible enough not to release them.

    Reply


  • Absolutely yes ! When people can’t seem to take responsibility, I think it should be banned in all states.

    Reply


  • Yes it is bad for the environment, but who is going to police this. Even if a balloon is tried to the child’s wrist they can still get loose. Hopefully some commonsense is used with this.

    Reply


  • I agree. I hate when people release balloons as it’s just littering. It makes me cringe when people do this and wish it does become illegal here too in SA

    Reply


  • I agree totally with this ban. Plastic in the environment is so poisonous to wildlife and sea creatures and the environment. Plastic straws should be banned too

    Reply


  • I love the idea! And yes, I hope that other states will follow Queensland’s decision!!

    Reply

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