Balloon Releases

​​Balloons are often used to celebrate special occasions, and sometimes to commemorate the life of a loved one that has passed away. Unfortunately, balloons can have a lasting legacy that reaches far beyond the event at which they were used. Helium balloons eventually make their way back down to the ground or the ocean surface where they become litter and a hazard to wildlife. 

Seabirds and turtles are particularly susceptible to balloon ingestion and entanglement because they mistake them for food.

Mass releases of balloons are also a waste of a precious resource, helium. Helium is used for important medical purposes (e.g. asthma treatment) as well as in technology manufacturing (e.g. high speed internet cables). There is a finite supply of helium on earth.

Releasing balloons into the environment is littering and is illegal in Tasmania.

Under the Tasmanian Litter Act 2007, penalties exist for littering a small item such as a balloon (which can end up on the ground or in the water).  Mass releases of balloons may attract hefty fines. 

If you witness littering in the form of a mass balloon release, take photos and record details of the event, and you can report this to the EPA on 1300 135 513 or online in the Litter Reporting System. ​​​More information can found on the EPA website.

Alternatives to balloons include flowers, candles, pinwheels, bunting, bubbles or planting a tree.


Waste Initiatives

Environment, Heritage and Lands Division