To the Editor:
This year State Representative Susan R. Donovan of Bristol introduced Bill No. H5865, which would prohibit the release of a balloon inflated with helium gas. The bill received a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee, but was held for further study, which substantially means that it will have to be introduced again next year.
We want you to know why a humane organization like Volunteer Services for Animals (VSA) has an interest in this bill. Every year at this time Rhode Island readies itself for graduation parties, weddings, the 4th of July, family picnics, and other summer activities. You can get the idea of how many balloons will be released during this celebratory time and what their impact will be on our Ocean State sea life. VSA follows national humane and environmental organizations and reads the many stories of sea life suffering and dying from ingesting all kinds of plastic including balloons, plastic straws, Styrofoam and cigarette filters.
We know there is an environmental effort to go to paper straws, to educate about not releasing balloons into the atmosphere and to reduce the use of plastic grocery store bags. VSA enthusiastically supports these efforts. This is something that we can all easily do, and it won’t take any more of our time or money. Will you join the effort to make Rhode Island a safe place for all that lives in our part of the Atlantic Ocean?
VSA Board of Directors Chair