Did you know that releasing balloons is now illegal in Victoria? I didn't know this until now!
But under strict new regulations that came into effect July 1, if you are caught releasing a balloon, you can be fined $991.
And if you're a business, you might find a $4956 bill in your mail.
And the fines don't stop there, if you release a stack of balloons, an individual could cop a $16,522 fine, and a company could end up paying a $82,610 fine.
The main reason for this is that balloons have been classed as one of the most harmful pollutants for marine wildlife.
#Balloons are in the top 3 most most harmful pollutants threatening marine wildlife. When balloons end up in the #ocean, they can be mistaken by wildlife for food. You can help. Pledge to never use balloons outdoors with @ZoosVictoria: https://t.co/ilGAFKecyE#WorldOceansDay pic.twitter.com/R0G8lopvj9— EPA Victoria (@EPA_Victoria) June 8, 2018
This week marks a #WildlifeWin with it now being illegal to release balloons into the environment. Released balloons end up in our waterways & oceans & often get eaten by our seabirds who mistake them for food. This new law will help save countless lives & protect our wildlife. pic.twitter.com/WLIluVyZWm— Wildlife Victoria (@wildlife_vic) July 14, 2021
A fantastic win for victorians!! It's finally considered illegal to release balloons into the environment within Victoria. My only hope is that it soon becomes illegal nationwide. https://t.co/3ByW18E52q— Kristal Kostoglou (@_Kristal_K) July 13, 2021
Over 200,000 people got behind Zoos Victoria campaign to ban letting balloons go off into the atmosphere in Victoria.
Now if you see anyone releasing balloons, you are being encouraged by the EPA to report these people to Zoos Victoria.
What can you use in place of balloon?
Well the EPA has recommended blowing bubbles, floating flowers or recyclable bunting, paper decorations or planting a tree.
For more on the story, click HERE