The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden is banning all forms of balloons from the Garden as of the beginning of April, reports Roodepoort Northsider.
Balloons have always been a very controversial subject among environmental and eco-friendly groups, primarily because they are not biodegradable. While some might claim to be, 90% of the time these balloons are tied to some form of string or ribbon which is most likely not biodegradable.
ALSO READ: Plastic found in deepest ocean animals
Thus, in an effort to curb the impact that balloons could have on the garden and its ecosystems, the brains behind the garden have taken the decision to completely ban all types of balloons from the premises. According to the garden’s curator, Xolelwa Mokoena, the decision to ban balloons boiled down to two very important factors.
“Firstly, people bring balloons into the garden, but don’t take them back on the way out when they leave,” Xolelwa said.
“This eventually leads to the balloons popping into smaller fragments or people tying them to the trees.
“Secondly, the small fragments are not biodegradable and thus pose a threat to the birds and animals in the garden as they mistake the colourful bits for food.”
The balloon ban will be instituted in the garden from April 1, and includes every kind of balloon.
Security will be instructed to stop all entrants with balloons in hand at the gate, and demand that they dispose of them before entering the Garden’s grounds. If you manage to sneak one past security and get caught, you will then be asked to dispose of the balloon immediately. Xolelwa explained that they hadn’t developed a fine system yet, so while you might not have to pay a fine yet, you will be left red-faced in front of the rest of the visitors.