Toowong Village and the other Retail First shopping centres in Queensland are banning helium balloons in their shops. This came after the alarming discovery of a Retail First-branded balloon inside the belly of a dead grey-headed Albatross.
Toowong Village is one of the 20 shopping centres being managed by Retail First Pty Ltd. Retail First said that the “no helium balloon policy” is in response to environmental concerns. The grey-headed Albatross is an endangered species in Australia. The dead bird found dead at Fraser Island was said to have ingested some plastic material from two helium balloons.
Helium balloons are often used for promotional events, but the unfortunate incident served as a wake-up call for people to realise the damaging effects of the activity on biodiversity.
While it has not been confirmed that the helium balloon caused the death of the Albatross, the retail chain expressed that it does not want to contribute in any way to the destruction of such precious species.
Helium balloons are being banned from Retail First’s promo events as well as from individual retail tenants in the shopping centres. The retail chain is in the process of looking for alternatives to helium balloons.
Tangalooma EcoMarines lauded the move by the retail chain and hopes that other businesses and the entire community come to realise the negative impact of helium balloons on the environment.