The South Fremantle woman fighting to see the end of latex balloons

Lisa Hills with
Lisa Hills with "Moomin". Photo: Jon Hewson

LISA Hills is a woman on a mission to see the end of latex balloons.

The South Fremantle resident said it all began when she was walking her dog on South Beach and found remnants of balloons on the beach.

“I passed a local store which used balloons to attract customers but I noticed the remnants in the roadway, washed on the road and into the drains,” she said.

“I continued to pick up balloon particles when a council worker told me that the balloons in the storm drains would be emptied into the ocean directly across the road at the beach.

“I spoke to Fremantle council and they said I needed to raise community awareness and that’s when I formed Boycott Balloons Fremantle.”

Mrs Hills said her overall goal was to see an end of latex balloons.

“I am concentrating on seeing an amendment made to the littering act that states that when a balloon is released it becomes litter,” she said.

“You can be fined for littering by throwing a single cigarette butt onto the ground but you can release hundreds of balloons and that’s perfectly acceptable.”

Currently a veterinary nurse at Perth Zoo, Mrs Hills said she had seen the effect marine debris was having on animals.

Despite this she said she has had successes approaching individual councils and asking them to make changes.

“Last year the Town of Cottesloe had a local law approved to ban the release of helium balloons on the council land,” she said.

“Its been difficult getting the message across that balloons are not environmentally friendly as they are falsely marketed to be.

“Chemicals are added to balloons to stop them from breaking down so they just break down over years into smaller bits of rubber, they don’t go away.”

Mrs Hills has been in communication with the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board who now work towards educating the public for memorial balloon releases.

MORE: Victoria Park fuel station attendant detains alleged armed robber

MORE: Thornlie house fire: man dead, boy in critical condition

MORE: Bill Shorten makes pitch to WA voters ahead of July 28 by-elections

MORE: Success mum delivers son in Cockburn carpark