VILLAS – Lower Township voted unanimously on an ordinance Oct. 1 to prohibit the release of balloons in the municipality to protect the local environment and marine life.
According to a township release, Sharon Bloom, owner-operator of two businesses at Sunset Beach, originally asked the council to ban the balloon releases. She cited concerns about environmental impacts.
“I can’t thank you enough for understanding how important this is to the environment,” stated Bloom, who also volunteers with the Marine Mammal Stranding Center.
Balloons are often mistaken for food by marine creatures which ingest those causing deaths.
Additionally, the ribbons used to tie them can become entangled in birds' beaks, around their necks, and can be injurious to land and marine animals.
While the balloon industry states that latex balloons are biodegradable, Bloom stated they ignore the time it takes latex to biodegrade, which could be up to four years.