Laguna Beach said the decision would keep litter out of the ocean and prevent potential fires.
Celebrations in a beachside California city will soon have to take place without an iconic, single-use party favor: balloons.
The city council of Laguna Beach, about 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles, banned the sale and use of all types of balloons on Tuesday, citing their contribution to ocean litter as well as risks from potential fires when they hit power lines. Starting in 2024, people using balloons on public property or at city events could incur fines of up to $500 for each violation. (Balloons used solely within people’s homes are exempt.)
The ban is part of a growing nationwide movement to restrict balloon use, as well as a broader item-by-item push to restrict problematic single-use products like plastic straws and bags. For now, most balloon-related state and city legislation only targets the intentional release of helium-filled balloons, but experts say outright bans on using any type outside are gaining traction as people better understand their environmental consequences. Nantucket, Massachusetts, in 2016 banned any balloon filled with a gas that’s lighter than air, and there are similar bans in places like East Hampton, New York, and Solana Beach and Encinitas, California…