Amsterdam puts an end to balloon launches
Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan and aldermen on the "Sustainability in the Capital" committee banned balloon launches from all events organized in the city. The municipality also launched an information campaign about the balloons' harmful effects on environment and animal well being. Earlier, the municipality officials promised to stop balloon launches in the municipality organized events. The Amsterdam executive board is thus responding to the initiative made by Amsterdam's faction of Party for the Animals. The party has been trying to get a ban for balloon launches for long, stating that animals eat the empty balloons found on the ground and die from the plastic. Other reason for the ban is that balloons contribute to the accumulation of a large amount of plastic waste in the North Pacific, making Dutch coast contaminated as well. The party gets its campaign support from environmental organizations such as North Sea Foundation, that has also launched a website warning people about the harmful effects of balloons. The website "dieballongaatnietop.nl" lists alternative ways of celebrating, such as bonfires, blowing bubbles and candles.