ASBURY PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A Jersey Shore town has made a move toward banning the release of balloons, as part of a nationwide trend to limit plastics on the beach.
Like most people, Chris Coleman said he comes to the shore to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Unfortunately, it sometimes gets interrupted by human trash.
“My family has been to a number of beach areas and we see balloons strings of laying in heaps on beach and just dont seem to biodegrade,” Coleman told CBS2’s Meg Baker reported Monday.
In an effort to become more environmentally conscious, Asbury Park is pushing to ban the release of balloons — an act often done in celebration of a special event. What goes up must eventually come down. Balloon debris can be harmful to wildlife which may ingest or get entangled in it.
“Clean ocean action has done a number of cleanups on beach funding lids straws plastic bags- and the intentionally release of balloons another step to keep ap environmentally friendly,” Asbury Park Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn said.
If adopted at the next council meeting in September, Asbury Park would join 14 other New Jersey towns with balloon bans. Fines could be as much as $500 for offenders.
“We are going to be introducing fee on plastic bags, meaning if going to use single use plastic bag store owner charge 5 cent fee they keep it not going ot city- just a deterrent,” Quinn said.
Many of the restaurants here already refrained from serving straws.
“Comes down to education. If people aren’t aware of it not going to realize what a difference they can make,” said Gisele Boida of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey.
“Great idea. This is a beach town protect environment to otherwise no one is going to want to come here,” added a Hoboken resident.
Surf Rider New Jersey said a statewide balloon ban bill is stalled, which is why they are now counting on local towns to join to the fight. CBS2 reached out to the balloon council but have not heard back.
The exception would be balloons released by a person on behalf of a governmental agency or pursuant to a governmental contract for scientific or meteorological purposes. Hot air balloons that are recovered after launching and balloons released indoors.