Balloons and the Environment
Balloons - is it time to declare war?
(c) Kate Matthews, April 2018
Balloons are commonly associated with birthdays, parties, celebrations and sometimes funerals. Brightly coloured and appearing lighter than air, balloons signify joy and delight. However if improperly disposed of, balloons (like many other consumer products) can cause serious harm to animals and pollute the environment. So is it time to stop producing and using balloons?
Some argue that declaring war on balloons is the only way forward.
We, too, care deeply about wildlife and the environment, but we also appreciate the joy of balloons and we don't think the two need be mutually exclusive. That's why we encourage thoughtful handling and disposal of all waste, including used balloons. With proper care and disposal, the likelihood of harm and pollution can be significantly reduced, and not just for balloons.
Of course, releasing balloons in the atmosphere is no longer acceptable. While we appreciate it feels nice to release a helium balloon and watch it disappear into the distance, we also understand this will in effect lead to pollution (where will it end up) and possibly cause an animal to die - and that doesn't feel nice at all!
Likewise balloons should never be left on the ground or allowed to enter drains, rivers, or oceans. It is our combined responsibility to do the right thing. Balloons should ALWAYS be disposed of properly, with general waste.
Types of Balloons
There are two main types of balloons - foil and latex. Balloons may be filled with air or helium.
At Face Paint Shop Australia, we stock only latex twisting balloons, made by Qualatex, the world's leading brand of balloons.
Latex is a natural product, harvested as a tree sap, which is then processed and manufactured into various products, including balloons.
Latex is biodegradable, however reports indicate the time it takes to decompose can vary significantly, with estimates ranging anywhere from between one and five years.
If improperly disposed of, for example released into the atmosphere as a helium filled balloon, or discarded on the ground or in water, then a latex balloon could certainly pose a risk to wildlife, especially if ingested.
As such, we strongly recommend latex products be disposed of with due care, along with general waste.
Remember: as with all disposable items, even biodegradable products, treat with care and do you what you can to protect the environment.
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