On Tuesday 26th April, Cottesloe Council in WA passed a motion to move forward in creating a report to develop a by-law to prohibit the use of air or helium filled balloons at any events approved by or run by the Town of Cottesloe.
The decision caused controversy amongst the public due to a lack of understanding. Once released into the air, balloons can drift for hundreds of kilometers before descending, or even raise into the stratosphere where they burst and return to earth in a spaghetti-like shape. As “air borne litter”, balloons then end up in the environment, such as in waterways and in the ocean. At a recent Senate Inquiry on marine debris, concern was voiced since balloons were found to have travelled 300 km in less than 24 hours in Western Australia in 2014, reaching the coastline from a location far inland. (Photo courtesy of Ian Hutton).