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Louisiana city council condemns intentional balloon releases

October 6, 2021 GMT

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — A city council in Louisiana unanimously voted to condemn balloon releases for memorials or celebrations because they’ve been causing power outages and harming the environment.

The resolution passed by the Lafayette City Council on Tuesday is symbolic and doesn’t have the force of law, news outlets reported.

“What this does is just make people aware of the issue at this point and hopefully people will understand or think twice or think about a different alternative when they want to do some type of memorial service,” Councilwoman Nanette Cook said, according to KATC-TV.

More than 8,000 Lafayette Utilities System electrical customers lost power during eight outages caused by balloons in the past year, the station reported. On Aug. 27, a balloon knocked out power for about 850 customers in the city.

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Bess Foret, the Lafayette Consolidated Government’s environmental quality manager, said in a statement that balloon releases also harm the environment, according to KLFY-TV.

“Balloons eventually deflate or burst and litter the land, bayous, rivers, lakes, and shorelines, negatively affecting the environment, wildlife, and marine life,” she said.

Eco-friendly alternatives suggested by the council include blowing bubbles, releasing flowers on water, holding candlelight vigils and planting trees.