A new bill was recently proposed to Massachusetts lawmakers that would ban the sale, distribution, and release of all balloons in Massachusetts and add a fine for up to $100 to anyone in violation.

State Rep. Sarah Peake introduced the bill at the State House on Tuesday, October 15.
The bill would apply to all types of balloons, including, but not limited to “plastic, latex or mylar, filled with any type of lighter than air gas, both for public or private use.”

The fine for violating the ban would be up to $100.

This bill is currently being considered by Mass lawmakers because of the negative effect that balloons have on animals and the environment. Balloons would technically be contraband in the Commonwealth.

The bill would not apply to “balloons released by or on behalf of any agency of the commonwealth, or the United States for scientific or meteorological purposes, or (ii) hot air balloons that are recovered after launch.”

Of all the things getting banned in Massachusetts these days, I think balloons are low on the totem pole. Pretty soon, we’ll be seeing a ban on plastic straws for the same reason.

I completely understand the reason behind this bill, and I want to save the turtles as much as the next guy. However, it seems a little drastic to ban something as seemingly innocent and pure as balloons from the entire state. Is there a proper method to dispose of them? Could that alleviate the problem? Will birthday parties ever be the same?