Cottesloe Council in WA has prohibited the use of air or helium filled balloons at events approved or run by the council.
Once released into the air, balloons can drift for hundreds of kilometres, or rise into the stratosphere where they burst and return to earth in a spaghetti-like shape. As “airborne litter”, balloons then end up in waterways and the ocean.
Terrestrial and marine animals mistake balloons for food and swallow them or get entangled in the string attached. This can lead to the loss of a limb or even to the death of turtles, whales, dolphins, dugongs or seabirds.
Marine fauna cannot digest the balloons, and they often block the guts of the animal causing it to starve to death.