Hold onto those colorful strings, folks, because you’ll get fined if you let go of them in Montgomery County now. Balloon releases, a popular yet environmentally harmful celebratory tradition, are now banned under a new bill the county’s council passed yesterday.
The practice has long been seen as especially detrimental to wildlife, with balloons landing in various places where they can end up eaten or otherwise interfering with the ecosystem. Those who intentionally release balloons into the air will face fines up to $750. The ban doesn’t apply to “unintentionally released” balloons or those “released by a minor without parental permission,” according to WTOP.