There are technically no biodegradable balloons as they are all processed and mixed with chemicals and colorings making them take years to biodegrade.
There will be countless companies out there claiming that their balloons are fully biodegradable however, unfortunately, they are not and will still cause wildlife deaths and environmental issues for the foreseeable future. This along with the helium shortage we are seeing should be a good enough reason to stay away from balloons and try an alternative.
Below we have listed a range of alternatives that can be used instead of balloons to ensure you have a great fun time at whatever event you are hosting/attending:
- Paper Garlands
Can you get environmentally friendly balloons?
The short answer is no. You can purchase technically biodegradable balloons that are made from latex. Natural latex is made from tree sap rubber which can biodegrade; however, balloons that are made from this are also processed and have added preservatives and chemicals added.
This can lead to these balloons taking at least 6-7 years to decompose. Just looking at the time it takes these balloons to biodegrade should be enough to class them as not environmentally friendly, however, with these rubber-like materials being scattered all over the environment and in the ocean, it leaves a lot for animals to suffocate and die from.
Can you release biodegradable balloons?
Biodegradable balloons are designed and created with natural latex which is an organic material that can fully biodegrade (in certain conditions). This does not mean that they will not cause issues with wildlife. Letting a balloon release could cause it to land around wildlife that may try to consume the product.
There are hundreds of studies that have found certain species such as dolphins, turtles, and birds with balloons within their digestive system. This is due to balloon releases that have ended up popping over the ocean. There is a website dedicated to sharing information and educating people on balloon releases https://balloonsblow.org/.
Biodegradable balloons also don't degrade very well in water which can be an issue with balloon releases that are released inland. These balloons are filled with helium and can travel miles, these will most likely end up landing in the ocean polluting and killing marine wildlife.
Are biodegradable balloons safe for animals?
Biodegradable balloons are in no way safe for animals including pets, wildlife, and marine life. These balloons are designed to biodegrade in certain conditions, the only difference between latex and conventional balloons is that they won't poison the soil and the environment to the same level after they degrade. These balloons will not disintegrate or biodegrade instantly and will cause massive issues for all animals that try to digest them.