At least 29 municipalities prohibit the sale of helium balloons on May 17th
Several places in the country it will not be possible to buy helium balloons on May 17th. At the same time, the Parliament asks the Government to consider a national ban.
The reason why a number of municipalities now ban the sale are the need to combat the spread of plastic waste in the nature and to limit the consumption of helium.
However, the municipalities can not prohibit the sale from private properties such as kiosks or gas stations. The Green Party (MDG) has previously suggested a national ban, which will entail a ban on sales from private sales points as well.
On Thursday, the MDG got support from an unanimous Parliament on a proposal for a fast assesment of a national ban.
– We are hoping for a ban before The Norwegian National Day, but it is up to the Government to fix the date. When the market or the industry learns that a possible ban is underway, they will be reluctant to order helium balloons so they are not left with goods that can not be sold. That sends a signal to the marketplace, says MP for the MDG, Per Espen Stoknes, to NTB.
Helium balloons are bad for the nature, Stoknes points out, who nickname the balloons as “Flying Plastic Trash”.
Helium important in health care
Helium is a noble gas used in military aircraft, electronics, research and MRI machines. Released helium disappears into space and can not be recycled, which means that all use of helium reduces the world’s helium reserves.
For several years, it has been announced that production units in the world’s largest helium producer USA, can run out of helium. Qatar, which is the world’s second largest producer, was in a diplomatic dispute with Saudi Arabia in 2017 which caused Qatar not to be able to export helium through the neighbouring country. The dispute triggered a three-week long crisis in the helium market, which ended shortly afterwards.
The danger of helium deficiency in Europe is still imminent and may affect the health care system which is dependent on the gas.
– Helium balloons are absolutely unnecessary. They also contain a gas that is scarce. It is a excellent idea to use regular air in balloons, says Leif Arne Moi Nilsen in the 17th May Committee in Stavanger to NRK.
These are the municipalities NTB knows has decided to ban sale of helium balloons on May 17th: Stavanger, Oslo, Drammen, Færder, Eid, Hadsel, Bømlo, Orkdal, Nesodden, Fredrikstad, Halden, Moss, Råde, Hobøl, Sarpsborg, Porsgrunn, Skien , Kragerø, Risør, Arendal, Kristiansand, Bergen, Stavanger, Sandnes, Haugesund, Namsos, Sortland, Bodø and Tromsø.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today