Balloon free Byron Shire

Micro plastics in the sand.jpg

We want to make Byron Shire a balloon and single-use decoration free place!

We are banning balloons and other single use decorations from Council owned or managed sites and road reserves.

We want to:

  • Protect our sea birds and marine life.
  • Minimise landfill
  • Reduce litter in open spaces and beaches.

What does the ban include?

  • All balloons, including biodegradable, helium, latex and water balloons.
  • Plastic disks, ribbons and strings attached to balloons.
  • Glitter, confetti, streamers and tinsel.
  • Party poppers and glow sticks.

What about latex and ‘biodegradeable’ balloons?

Latex balloons are included because studies have shown that when placed in freshwater, saltwater and industrial composting systems for 16 weeks, they did not show any signs of degradation.

Degraded latex balloons can persist in the natural environment and continue to pose a threat to marine life. 

Where does the ban apply?

The ban applies to balloons and single use decorations on Council owned or managed sites. This includes:

What are alternatives to balloons and single use decorations?

It’s simpler than you may think to celebrate without all the plastic. Be creative!

Use reusable and sustainable decorations to celebrate your next event or special occasion. 

  • Bunting: Bunting can be reused year after year. Make your own from scrap material or recycled cards and paper or hire bunting locally. 
  • Plants and flowers make great table settings or arches and can be composted after use. 
  • Fairy lights, festoons and lanterns can be used year after year. 
  • Bubbles, kites, pinwheels and ribbon wands are a great balloon alternative to add colour and fun to your event 
  • Chalkboards, artwork or paintings can help to make your event visible
  • Leaf and flower confetti instead of plastic or paper.
  • Hire a party kit – there is a growing community of people lending reusable party kits with everything you need for your celebrations. Find a participating library What is a Party Kit? | Party Kit Network

Find local suppliers of party equipment and waste-free alternatives

Reusable & waste-free alternatives to single-use

Why are we banning balloons?

We don’t want to be the fun police, but balloons are the biggest killers of Australian Sea Birds. 

They are also one of the most lethal type of debris for ocean animals, when they end up as litter in our environment. Even turtles have been found to selectively eat burst balloons because they look like jellyfish.

This is happening in our own backyard. Our friends at Australian Seabird rescue commonly rescue birds and turtles in the Shire that have consumed balloons and other plastic debris. 

Local Governments across Australia are increasingly taking the lead with balloon litter, banning balloon releases and the use of balloons on Council-owned sites in many jurisdictions. Taking measures to reduce our waste is crucial step in reducing our environmental footprint and keeping our Shire clean and healthy. 

This project is supporting our Single-Use Packaging and Materials Policy