Many people have expressed interest in conducting testing on the biodegradability of latex balloons. Whether you are a member of PEBA (Pro Environment Balloon Alliance), or not, it would be fantastic to have you involved. I have tried to set the test up using correct “Scientific Method”. Who’s in?
The test consists of:
- 1 x open 13 litre container (Bunnings), or similar, with a couple of holes drilled in the base, filled to three quarters with soil from your local area.
- 9 x Latex Balloon (Manufacturer of Your Choice)
1 x Standard White: Some oxidation and deterioration.
1 x Fashion Black: Some oxidation / little change in appearance.
1 x Standard Yellow: Fading / Oxidation / little change in appearance.
1 x Jewel / Crystal Ruby Red: Fading / Oxidation / little change in appearance.
1 x Diamond Clear: Substantial Oxidation and deterioration.
1 x Jewel / Crystal Emerald Green: Substantial Oxidation and deterioration.
1 x Pearl / Metallic Pink: Substantial Fading / Oxidation.
1 x Pearl / Metallic Sapphire Blue: Fading / Oxidation / little change in appearance.
1 x Pearl / Metallic Lime Green: Fading / Oxidation / some deterioration.
- The balloons should be inflated to size and then let down. This is because most balloons that find their way into the environment have been inflated.
- The variety of balloons and colours has been selected because experience tells us that some balloons (e.g. darker colours and Jewel / Crystal) biodegrade faster than others and it is necessary to measure the difference.
- The container should not be covered and should be left outside under all weather conditions.
- Please photograph your experiment every 30 days (or less) and take note of any changes, etc.
- The data collected from these tests conducted under different soil and weather conditions will be invaluable.
- I will also be doing two separate tests, using beach sand and sea water.
- Data updates and all results will be published on www.peba.com.au