Pumped for ban on balloons
BALLOONS at parties and community events could become a thing of the past if a South Fremantle resident’s fight to ban them is successful.
Lisa Hills has joined two other Australian women in petitioning the Federal Government to not only ban the mass release of balloons, but also stop the use of helium to fill them, saying they posed too much of a health issue to wildlife, and even humans, to continue unchecked.
Picking up pieces of popped balloons almost every time she goes out for a walk, Ms Hills said she felt her creation of the Boycott Balloons Fremantle Facebook page was justified when the public began getting behind it.
“Once people started to hear about it, I started to realise how big a problem this issue was,” she said.
“I was being sent articles of animals that had died due to ingestion of a balloon, balloon clip or entanglement from the ribbon.
“Escaped balloons easily end up in the ocean once they burst and when the balloon is ingested by a sea creature and comes into contact with the stomach acids it quickly turns into a sticky, gooey mess, which causes intestinal blockage and results in starvation and a slow, painful death.”
“There are many options to use instead of balloons that are friendly to the environment and wildlife, such as bunting, flags, banners or bubbles, or if you are planning to release balloons in the memory of a loved one, plant a tree or place native flowers in the ocean.”
Not just an environmental issue, Ms Hills said there could be unforeseen health effects for people as well.
With only a small supply of helium on Earth, and with the gas used in important medical equipment such as MRI machines, as well as scientific research, she said there were more important ways the increasingly rare element could be used.
Local governments are already getting behind the initiative, with the Town of Cottesloe banning the use of balloons at council events and deciding in April that they would produce a report on the potential for a by-law to prohibit balloons by October.
Visit Boycott Balloons Fremantle on Facebook to request a petition signature sheet.
Lisa Hills, who is pushing for a ban on the mass release of balloons for health and environmental reasons, with her dog Moomin.