There's no denying that balloons are fun. They add an element of excitement and festivity to any occasion, whether it's a birthday party, baby shower, or a corporate event. But what happens to all those balloons once the fun is over? Are they really as biodegradable as we've been led to believe?
What many people don't know is that balloons are actually biodegradable. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the science behind balloon biodegradation and answer some of the most common questions about it.
Latex balloons are made from natural rubber latex, which comes from the sap of rubber trees. While latex is a renewable resource, it takes up to five years for a rubber tree to mature enough to tapped for sap. Once tapped, a rubber tree can produce sap for up to 30 years before it needs to be replaced.
The sap is then collected and processed into latex, which is used to make balloons. Latex balloons are 100% biodegradable and will break down in the environment over time. However, it's important to note that they can take up to 36 months to degrade completely.
While latex balloons are biodegradable, foil balloons are not. Foil balloons are made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is a type of plastic. Plastic takes hundreds of years to break down in the environment, making foil balloons a major source of pollution when not recycled.
The dangers of balloon litter from balloon releases
Balloon litter is a growing problem in the UK. Not only is this type of litter unsightly, it can also be dangerous for wildlife. Animals can mistake deflated balloons for food and eat them, which can lead to choking or blockages in the digestive system.
If you are planning on releasing balloons, we recommend you consider all the issues and maybe think about being responsible and choosing another activity to mark the occasion.
Are Balloons Really Biodegradable?
In short, yes latex balloons are biodegradable, but it can take months for them to degrade completely. However foil balloons are made of plastic and are not biodegradable. Balloon litter is a growing problem in the UK, and it can be dangerous for wildlife.
What do you think? Are balloons really biodegradable? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!