The Boomerang Alliance and Wildlife Queensland have welcomed decisions made at the LGAQ (Local Government Association of Queensland) Annual Conference to support a state ban on deliberately releasing helium balloons, and establishing guidelines for plastic reductions at council events and operations in Queensland.

“We commend the decision by Brisbane City Council to both phase out helium balloons at BCC events and put forward a motion to the LGAQ Conference to support a state ban on the deliberate release of helium balloons,” said Toby Hutcheon, representative of Wildlife Queensland and Boomerang Alliance.

“Deliberately releasing helium is dangerous to wildlife and is an act of littering. With local government support the practice can be stopped, if the state acts,” he said.

Globally, 95 percent of all plastic packaging is used once and then thrown away.

“Wildlife Queensland and the Boomerang Alliance and also commend Cairns Regional Council for proposing a motion to establish guidelines to reduce plastic use at council events and operations, and to educate the public on alternatives,” said Hutcheon.

“The fact is that single-use plastics present a litter and pollution problem, and the sooner we move as a society to using alternatives, the better.”

“The decision by the LGAQ Conference to support these motions is an important and positive signal. If implemented, it positions local government as an important advocate and role model for single-use plastic reduction practices in Queensland,” he said.

“We recognise that many councils are now developing plastic free policies and these LGAQ decisions reinforce local government’s role in driving positive change.”

The LGAQ decision puts the ball in the court of the State Government. Action to provide plastic free event policies must be part of a proposed Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan. The banning of helium balloon releases could be promoted immediately – it’s littering.