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Kennebunk student works to ban helium balloons in town

Will Jones, a senior at Kennebunk High School, hopes the town can vote on banning balloons at town meeting next year.

KENNEBUNK (WGME) -- A Kennebunk High School senior is hoping for many things after he graduates next year - including a town-wide ban on helium balloons he was been working on for years.

Will Jones has met with town officials on several occasions about his proposal. While it will not be ready for a town vote in November, he hopes residents will support his idea at town meeting next year.

Jones said like every kid he used to love balloons and didn't really think where they end up once they are released into the sky.

He grew passionate about the environment after going on a whale watch and learning more about the impacts latex balloons can have on wildlife and ecosytems.

Jones said many animals mistake balloons for food, which can cause severe damage to digestive systems. Since then, he has educated the residents on balloon alternatives and pushed for a ban on the outdoor use and sale of balloons.

"It's not just the mass balloon releases, it's every single balloon that goes up is eventually going to come down and potentially put an animal at risk of death or suffering in general," Jones said. "Ban or not, education is the most important thing I can do."

Jones plans to stay in town after high school to see how residents vote on the proposed ban, and if it passes how the ban can be enforced and monitored.

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