Too often the public becomes disenchanted with government activism, so it is refreshing to see the Laguna City Council using common sense and acting in the best, long-term interests of the community.
At a meeting on April 17, the council rightly chose to implement a public awareness campaign about responsible balloon use instead of an outright ban of balloons as a response against litter. The Balloon Council, a national trade organization of balloon manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers, applauds the council for this action.
Balloons symbolize celebrations and contribute to a $100 million industry. Florists, grocers, party suppliers and other small businesses in Laguna Beach – along with children’s birthday parties – would be unnecessarily harmed by a ban on balloons.
The city council’s decision to educate instead of regulate aligns with The Balloon Council’s nationwide Responsible Balloon Retailer program to educate customers and retailers about proper balloon use. This includes proactively educating customers on how to best enjoy balloons with practical tips such as not releasing foil balloons and using natural rubber latex balloons that are biodegradable.
It is with the sensible thinking of leaders like the Laguna City Council that we can mitigate problems while preserving the jobs of balloon retailers and maintaining the public’s enjoyment of balloons.
Noah Lichtman, Balloon Council spokesman