You’ve seen balloon releases I’m sure. They fly the sky with beautiful masses of color as they gracefully float up in the atmosphere. People of all ages have loved watching balloon releases, of course. They have help us celebrate moments of much joy and excitement like the beginning of football or baseball season, grand openings, weddings and many other joyous occasions. Balloon releases have also helped people remember loved ones they’ve lost as they’ve sent up loving messages into the sky.
Did you know, though, that there are several states, Tennessee included, in which balloon releases are illegal?
Why is that the case?
The reality is balloon releases can have a negative environmental impact for two main reasons. First, in most releases, there is a ribbon or string tied to the balloons. When the balloons pop as they reach high into the atmosphere, the ribbons fall to the ground or into the water. Once there, birds or other animals pick them up and can become choked.
Also, environmentalists claim that balloons have a negative impact when the part fall to the Earth. The reality is when balloons float up into the upper atmosphere and the barometric pressure reduces, the balloon shatters. It literally bursts into small pieces, almost difficult to see. In fact, we find here on Earth that is often the case when a balloon bursts–the pieces are tiny. They also claim that animals can choke on the parts.
Irregardless of how big the impact is, in the State of Tennessee, it is illegal to do a balloon release of more than 25 balloons at a time. There are four other states that also have laws against balloon releases. Those are California, Connecticut, Florida and Virginia. Tennessee’s law is a bit more liberal than the other four states. Those states allow 10 balloons to be released at one time.
Why do I share this with you?
Because lately I’ve received several requests for balloon releases. As a professional and responsible balloon company, I have had to share the disappointing news about the law and strongly suggested that you don’t do the release. I then offer another alternative for a special effect that would make your event still great. Yes, I’ve lost some business by not doing the releases, but I know it’s the right thing to do. If my company can do its part to protect the environment, then I choose to do so.
We offer a lot of special effects, you’ve probably never thought existed, like exploding balloons, lit ones,
personalized balloons, and a few more. I’ll share those ideas with you another time.
We also do a very fun traditional special effect–the Magical Balloon Drop. You can contact us anytime of the year to celebrate with a balloon drop. In fact, we’re getting ready to do one in a couple of weeks to celebrate and engagement! How cool is that!!
Just for your information (and great reading enjoyment) Below is the actual Tennessee Balloon Release Law:
(a) No person, including an officer or employee of this state or any political subdivision of the state, shall knowingly release into the atmosphere more than twenty-five (25) balloons that are:
(1) (A) Made of a nonbiodegradable material; or
(B) Made of a biodegradable material that requires more than several minutes of contact with air or water to degrade; and
(2) Filled with helium or another substance that causes the balloons to rise or float in the atmosphere.
(b) Any person violating subsection (a) is subject to a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250). Each balloon released in a single day, without a permit, in excess of the limit imposed in subsection (a), constitutes a separate violation.
(c) This section does not apply to weather balloons that are used for the purpose of carrying scientific instruments during the performance of an experiment or testing procedure.