Letter: Loose balloons pollute our waterways and our fish

Posted 2/6/20

Thank you for bringing attention to my legislation to ban the release of balloons into the environment. I would like to add a few more reasons we need this bill: released balloons not only pose a …

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Letter: Loose balloons pollute our waterways and our fish

Posted

Thank you for bringing attention to my legislation to ban the release of balloons into the environment. I would like to add a few more reasons we need this bill: released balloons not only pose a significant threat to wildlife, they have the potential to cause power outages. Most recently, on Jan. 12 of this year, a stray Mylar balloon caused a power outage that left thousands of customers without electricity in California. Massachusetts power company Eversource reports that thousands of customers experience an outage every year because of such balloons.

Balloons are also a nuisance to commercial fishermen, including those here in Bristol, who overwhelmingly support Bill H 7261. All released balloons, including those falsely marketed as biodegradable, end up as hazardous litter in our waterways and on our landscapes.

Countless creatures are found each year with their stomachs filled with plastic debris or bodies tangled in the strings of released balloons. Tossing litter out of car windows is prohibited, and releasing balloons into the air causes the same result. It’s time we prohibit the intentional release of balloons everywhere.

Rep. Susan R. Donovan
Bristol

Rep. Donovan is a Democrat representing District 69, Bristol and Portsmouth.

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