New York legislators are considering a ban on releasing helium balloons.

Two competing pieces of legislation have been proposed. Both are designed to prevent people from purchasing and releasing helium balloons. One would prevent the release of "more than 25 standard latex balloons within a 24-hour period. The release of even one foil-covered Mylar balloon would be outlawed, too." There are no associated fines.

Another has more teeth, but mostly targets businesses. Fines are $10 for every balloon over 25, with a maximum of $50,000.

Here's the thing: helium-filled mylar and latex balloons get into waterways and eco-systems, and can end up killing wildlife. Birds, fish, and turtles are all at risk. Even farm animals can be impacted because the balloons can be caught up in hay balers and unintentionally fed to livestock.

While releasing balloons into the air might make a lovely fleeting statement, the impact on wildlife is significant. It's hard to believe that we actually have to make a law to get people to stop doing that seems like common sense, but here we are.

Do you think NY should pass a law to prevent balloon releases, or should people be left to use their own common sense? 

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