Just a year after being the first town in NJ to put a local fee on single-use carryout bags, Longport took action to ban balloon releases in town. Chapter activists attended the December 7th meeting for the second reading and passage of the ordinance. The town next door, Margate, already had such an ordinance and chapter activists simply brought the idea and the ordinance to Longport. But they are not stopping there. In the New Year, the Chapter is looking to do the same thing in Ventnor, thereby achieving a balloon release ban trifecta in the three towns known as the “Down Beach” area.
Anyone who has done a beach cleanup or who just visits the beach regularly knows the problem with balloons. They are essentially airborne litter that eventually becomes ground, beach, and ocean litter.
Amazingly, state laws are not helpful on this at all, in fact they amount to state-sanctioned littering. In NJ, you can release up to 25 balloons into the air without penalty. Absurd since if you dropped them on the ground before blowing them up you’d be violating litter laws. But if you blow them up, and let them go, no problem.
Thanks to the good folks at Balloonsblow.org for listing all the state laws on balloons. Check out their Facebook Page too, they are doing lots of great activism to stop balloon releases, raise awareness and more.