SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — A new bill moving through the Illinois House could make it illegal to release a large amount of balloons outside.
House Bill 418 would include balloon releases as celebratory gatherings, such as weddings, funerals and birthday parties, and infringement could result in a $500 fine.
Balloon releases would still be allowed for higher education and scientific or meteorological purposes.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Sam Yingling (D-Round Beach) as an amendment to the Environmental Protection Act, and said it was intended to “prevent organized release of large quantities of…balloons.”
“Obviously, there are significant ecological impacts and there’s also significant infrastructure impact when these balloons land,” Yingling told The Pantagraph. “Not only are they dangerous for our habitat but they also complicate our storm sewer systems and our water systems.”
The Illinois Energy and Environment Committee approved the bill on Monday, saying balloons made of plastic and rubber can be harmful to animals and the environment.
If approved, the bad would go into effect on January 1st, 2022.