Releasing balloons at weddings or memorial services can be a thing of the past in Kentucky if a bill introduced into the House of Representatives of the state becomes a law.
The proposed legislation would limit the number of balloons released in a day to 25, a ban on disposable shopping bags and ban restaurants from offering straws to customers in an effort to reduce plastic waste.
What are the details?
House Bill 183, which was proposed by Rep. Mary Lou Marzian (D) says Tuesday that "no one knowingly releases more than twenty-five plastic balloons filled with gas that is lighter than air in the atmosphere or releases them into the atmosphere during a four-hour period." Hot air balloons and balloons released indoors are exempt.
Violators "will be subject to a civil fine of $ 100 per day for the first and all subsequent violations."
Balloons have been banned in the city of Louisville since 2003, but law enforcement officials are reluctant to enforce the law, according to the Courier Journal.
The ban was invoked by animal rights activists, and the regulation warns that volatile helium-filled balloons "are being carried to the east by the prevailing winds and cracks across the Atlantic where they have been eaten by dolphins, sea turtles, seabirds and migratory waterbirds, sometimes resulting in in the death of such animals through (a) deliberate blocking. "
These so-called & # 39; balloon laws & # 39; are increasingly being imposed in the United States, according to nonprofit Balloonsblow.org. California, Connecticut, Florida, Tennessee and Virginia have all banned the books all over the state, and cities such as Nantucket and Baltimore are also party poopers.
Who is fighting this madness?
The most important crusaders against balloon laws is The Balloon Council, a trade organization that consists of "involved balloon manufacturers, distributors and retailers". According to Balloons Blow, The Balloon Council is responsible for stopping a ban on celestial lanterns in New Hampshire.
The Balloon Council claims that "although we know that animals occasionally eat those soft pieces of rubber, the evidence suggests that pieces eventually pass through the digestive system without harming the animal."
The organization adds: "Although many stories have been repeated about marine animals that are dying from balloons, extensive research by industry and reporters has yet to identify such a story."