Rhode Island

RI Lawmaker Proposes Banning Balloon Releases

A Rhode Island lawmaker has introduced a bill that would ban the release of balloons statewide.

State Rep. Susan Donovan tells the Providence Journal balloons are an "environmental hazard" that sea life and birds mistake for food.

She says she isn't looking to ban balloons altogether, but she wants to encourage people to dispose of them properly.

Those who violate the ban could face a $500 fine.

Donovan says her bill is modeled after legislation proposed in New Jersey that includes exemptions for balloons used in scientific research and hot air balloons.

David Prescott with the environmental group Save the Bay says they collected remains from 835 balloons during a cleanup in 2017.

He says there's a push to curb balloon use across the country.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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