Virginia lawmakers ban release of non-biodegradable balloons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia lawmakers have approved legislation to ban the intentional release of all non-biodegradable balloons and slap offenders with a civil fine of $25 per balloon.

The legislation was backed by environmentalists and coastal residents who regularly complain about litter from balloons on Virginia beaches and the potential harm to marine animals.

The Senate approved a House bill, but some Republican senators questioned whether the bill went too far by prohibiting the outdoor release of even a single balloon.

Current law prohibits the release of 50 or more balloons within an hour and carries a civil penalty of $5 per balloon.

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