Did You Know?
- Latex balloons filled with air, like in our balloon garlands, can stay up for months if kept inside! After your fancy garland or garland has been used as a decoration at a party, why not use them as a room decoration for your little one!
- We use recycled and recyclable material wherever possible, and we recycle all paper, plastic and soft plastics at our studio and shop.
- Instead of using bubble wrap for our online orders, we use ‘Eco Wrap’ which is made from recycled paper material and is recyclable.
- Still not sure about using balloons at your party? Don’t worry, we have a great range of paper products as well including; honeycomb balls, paper garlands, paper lanterns, fringed crepe paper, paper streamers, paper plates and cups made from recycled material, and paper straws. Please note that foil products are not biodegradable.
Environmental Impacts – The Basics
- Our latex balloons are made from 100% biodegradable latex with no fillers or substitutes used in manufacturing. Which means they will eventually break down once disposed of responsibly.
- Latex is a natural substance that comes from rubber trees, it is used in a variety of products including latex gloves, rubber bands and toys.
- Balloons released into the environment via helium releases or otherwise can find their way into our oceans. Water will slow down the breakdown of the latex and that means they can have a negative impact on the environment including posing a threat to wildlife (see below for more information).
- Poppies for Grace does not condone the release of helium balloons, or the use of balloons outdoors on windy days.
- Poppies for Grace is a proud member of the Pro Environment Balloon Alliance. PEBA’s aim is to assist in making Australia “The First Balloon Release Free Continent” in the world. Our members do not support or condone, nor will they facilitate the deliberate release of balloons. http://www.peba.com.au.
- If latex balloons are disposed of thoughtfully (deflated or popped indoors and placed in the bin) they should not pose a threat to wildlife.
The Facts About Helium Releases:
As Australia moves towards a more environmentally conscious culture, it is important we are well informed and aware of the potential impact of our actions on the natural environment and our wildlife. When latex helium balloons are released, some balloons lose air and begin to descend, while others continue to rise and expand with pressure, eventually bursting (Foley, 1990). These burst latex balloons are often shredded into strips 2-3mm wide, and then fall back into the environment which then can be ingested by wildlife (Foley, 1990 & Franeker, 2015). There has been significant research into the impact that this latex balloon debris can have on the loggerhead turtle, which can ingest small pieces of balloon debris thinking it to be food (Foley, 1990; Franeker, 2015). Latex balloons that are submerged in saltwater have been found to remain intact for periods of at least one year, while those not exposed to air become weak and non-rubbery within six months (Andrady, 1988; Foley, 1990). Andrady (1988) found that latex balloons exposed to sea water for a year have a higher average strength and tension than balloons exposed to air for only two months (Andrady, 1988). This research and countless others show that the practice of releasing helium balloons should not continue, nor the use of balloons in outdoor settings in conditions where balloons cannot be safely controlled, such as days of high wind. However, the use of latex balloons in controlled conditions such as indoors (and outdoors if properly secured) is a great way to bring joy to your event when balloons are disposed of safely and appropriately in the bin (Franeker, 2015). When deciding to inflate balloons with helium, Poppies for Grace encourages you to think about the environmental impacts of balloon releases, and choose to use them inside or attached securely to weights or similar.
You can read more about alternatives to helium releases on the Zoo’s Victoria Webiste.
Andrady, A, 1988, ‘Experimental Demonstration of Controlled Photodegradation of Relevant P l a s t i c Conditions Compositions under Marine Environmental Conditions’, U. S. Department of Commerce, North Carolina
Foley, A, 1990, ‘A Preliminary Investigation on Some Specific Aspects of Latex Balloon Degradation’, Florida Department of Natural Resources Florida Marine Research Institut, St. Petersburg, Florida
Van Franeker, J.A, 2015 ‘Five Small facts about balloon litter’, IMARES Wageningen, The Netherlands.