Oslo’s city government has gone along with several other local governments around Norway in banning the sale of helium balloons during 17th of May festivities. “It’s entirely possible to have fun without gas balloons,” declared Lan Nguyen Berg, the top city politician in charge of environmental issues.
Stavanger, Bergen, Haugesund, Tromsø and Fredrikstad are among Norwegian cities that already have refused to issue street sale licenses for helium balloons. All contend that the plastic balloons contain pollutants and often trash local hills, forests and the sea.
The City of Oslo has instructed all local neighbourhood councils against allowing sales, but they can’t be banned on private ground or in stores. Erik Lunde, head of the 17th of May Committee in Oslo, told state broadcaster NRK that “some people will probably still try to sell helium balloons, but I urge everyone not to buy them because they represent a major environmental problem.”