Bill Banning Balloon Releases Sent to Governor's Desk
A bill prohibiting intentional balloon releases passed through the state legislature last week and has been sent to Governor David Ige's desk.
HB 1102 would fine violators $500 for intentionally releasing balloons outside. Hot air balloons and balloons used for scientific purposes by a government entity would be exempt.
The measure was widely supported by environmental groups.
Suzanne Frazer is the co-founder of the Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawai?i.
She said released balloons can kill marine animals and birds through strangulation and accidental swallowing.
"I think education plays the biggest role in this law. I’m sure that people--when they’re celebrating and commemorating--are not really wanting to harm any animals," she said. "I think that if we can raise awareness about this, people will choose not to do it anymore."
She said tree planting is a great alternative way to celebrate because you can return to your tree and watch it grow.
"Other ways that people can commemorate or celebrate are lighting candles and giving leis and planting gardens," she added.
If signed into law, the ban would go into effect on January 1, 2023.