The number of municipalities in the Netherlands that banned the release of balloons more than tripled over the past year, according to a study by De Noordzee foundation. The foundation is committed to getting such a ban implemented across the Netherlands, because the plastic in balloons is harmful to animals and the environment, NOS reports.
Before the end of this year Rotterdam and The Hague will ban the release of balloons. The city council in both cities approved such a ban on Wednesday. Utrecht is also discussing a ban this week and the expectation is that a majority in the city council will be in favor, NOS reports.
The Zeist city council decided to ban the release of balloons in the municipality. According to the council, it only causes litter in the environment. "These balloon remains are eaten by fish, birds and other animals and that causes animal suffering", the council said. RTL Nieuws reports.
The motion was accepted by a large majority on Tuesday evening. Zeist will add the ban on releasing balloons to the city's General Local Regulations.
Schools, businesses and associations will be informed of the ban, and the harmful consequences of releasing balloons, as soon as possible.
The Den Bosch city council decided on Tuesday night to ban the release of helium balloons in the municipality. The balloons pollute nature and are dangerous for animals, the council parties who supported the ban said, NU.nl reports.
Animal party PvdD will press charges against VVD party leader Klaas Dijkhoff on Tuesday for environmental pollution. Dijkhoff released 500 balloons at a VVD congress in Den Bosch on Saturday, AD reports.
With the release of the balloons, Dijkhoff responded to accusations that he released too many "test balloons" in his political work. He asked the the attendees of the congress to write down political ideas, which were attached to the balloons and released into the air.
The Rotterdam police surprised the children in the Sophia Children's Hospital on Sunday by dropping off dozens of balloons shaped like Spongebob, Piglet and Nintje, among others.
The police seized the balloons from a man who was selling them illegally. In consultation with the Public Prosecutor, the police decided to repurpose the balloons to put a smile on the faces of kids admitted to the Sophia Children's Hospital.
What should have been a climax has instead resulted in reputational damage for the balloons sector, according to Pim Santhuizen of the Ballonnerie in Amsterdam, which was the supplier of the 150,000 balloons that were planned to be released at the end of the Koningsvaart on April 30.