Eco-friendly balloons used for ceremony: New Taipei
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The New Taipei City Government clarified that people attending a New Year ceremony yesterday released eco-friendly latex balloons that will do no harm to the environment.
January 2, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
Officials including Mayor Chu Li-luen and thousands of residents gathered at the Sandiaojiao (also known as Cape San Diego) Lighthouse in Gongliao on the northeastern coast to hold a national flag-raising ceremony that welcomed the arrival of 2013.
The city-sponsored event included thousands of participants in spite of cold and wet weather. Around 2,000 of them managed to release into the sky colorful balloons attached with written messages that express their wishes, expectations, and blessings for the nation and people.
But the move drew criticism from some environmental groups that said the large number of balloons could cause environmental damage.
Environmentally conscious critics said it was highly inappropriate to use so many balloons and cause environmental pollution on the first day of a new year.
In response, city officials said they had included possible environmental impact into their considerations. This was why they chose only balloons made of natural rubber latex materials, which decompose much more easily in the environment.
Biodegradable latex materials are different from vulcanized rubber, plastic materials or aluminum foil balloons that are more durable, they explained.