TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (NEWSnet) – Balloon releases are banned in Florida as of July 1 under provisions of the state's litter law – except in cases when a young child is in control of the balloon.

The new “release of balloons” law is stricter than limitations that were already on Florida’s books; and reflects a definite shift in popular culture and social expectations.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the updates on June 24.

The release of small helium-filled balloons in an array of colors was once a common sight at memorial services, weddings, football games and other special events.

But by 2019, according to the Associated Press, the custom had clearly fallen out of fashion over concerns about impact to the environment through the deflated party balloons and decorative ribbons. By then, eight states were considering restrictions on the release of balloons in addition to the four states that already had bans or restrictions – including the previous law in Florida.

Florida’s earlier restrictions allowed an exemption for fewer than 10 balloons that may be released within a 24-hour time frame; and also any biodegradable or photodegradable balloons.

Both specifications are now irrelevant.

The new law basically revises the definition of litter to include nearly all recreational release of balloons. The penalty is a fine of up to $150, part of which is diverted to the Solid Waste Management Trust Fund.

Florida’s balloon law does not apply to a child who is age 6 or younger who releases a balloon whether intentionally or accidentally

Balloons that are launched for a specific scientific or meteorological use also are still allowed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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