The main reasons to discourage balloon releases are the effects of balloon litter on the environment, wildlife impacts and the unintended consequences of power outages. While education and awareness are key to prevention, policies and laws are sometimes needed to help decrease the occurrence of this form of litter.
Policy makers at schools, universities, parks, beaches and other places where people gather to celebrate can offer alternative practices that are emotionally gratifying for participants while not creating harmful litter. Most organizations have anti-litter policies in place. They can expand these anti-litter policies to include the release of balloons.
Many states, counties, towns and cities around the world have laws in place to prevent the release of balloons. Some laws limit the number of types of balloons that can be released, others are outright bans on helium-filled balloons. For a complete list of laws, visit Balloons Blow.