No air in balloon ban bid

A PUSH to ban balloons after the successful bid to get rid of single- use plastic bags looks unlikely to fly.

A range of environmental groups have called for an end to plastic balloons at celebrations, and particularly mass balloon releases, because they add to ocean pollution and are ingested by birds.

But Environment Protection Agency general manager Alex Schaap said the Litter Act 2007 effectively prohibited large-scale balloon releases, so a ban was not needed.

The Liberal Party rejected a ban outright but the Greens were less strident in their rejection of the idea.

Greens environment spokeswoman Cassy O'Connor said balloons made children happy but the party was concerned about the impact of escaped and discarded balloons on wildlife.

"Part of the answer is about making sure people understand the dangers to wildlife, and about how to responsibly use and dispose of balloons," Ms O'Connor said.

"Biodegradable balloons and string are now widely available, and we would naturally encourage their use as an alternative to less environmentally friendly options."

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