According to nbcboston.com, balloon releases in Maine could become a thing of the past and run-away helium balloons could become labelled as litter if a new bill passes.

Helium balloons will still be available, but retailers would be required to warn customers that the balloons are harmful to the environment and that they are a choking hazard to children as well.

Balloon enthusiasts, and the multi-billion dollar balloon industry, argue that latex balloons are biodegradable. Environmentalists disagree, saying that it takes over 6 months for them to decompose, even longer in salt water. That gives the balloons plenty of opportunity to wreak havoc on sea birds, turtles, fish, whales, dolphins and other sea life who become entangled in the string or ingest the balloon.

Balloon release season in Maine is on the way, as they are most often a part of weddings, memorials and graduations. Anyone who sends a balloon into the air would be fined $250 for littering if the bill passes.

The bill will still need approval from the Maine legislature and our governor to become state law.

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