Balloons & The Environment
Helium is used to make balloons float and comes in cylinders of various sizes. It is colourless and odourless and will not interact with any other gas. Used correctly helium is perfectly safe. However, helium should NEVER be inhaled as it is an asphyxiant so can kill. It can also bring on asthma attacks and rupture vocal cords when used to create a squeaky voice.
As a balloon professional/retailer, we have made the decision to no longer support the release of balloons into the atmosphere as we wish to protect the environment from an unnecessary litter. Although we obviously cannot stop our customers from doing so, we strongly urge them and others to Don’t Let Go and support our decision. We would love to help you find an alternative using air-filled balloons that can be easily disposed of after your event.
Foil balloons should never be released either singularly or in multiples, due to their makeup. They are NOT biodegradable and can harm or kill wildlife. They are also a conductor of electricity, so if they get caught in power lines could cause a power cut.”
Latex balloons, however, are biodegradable (see below). If used for a balloon release string or ribbon should not be attached. Releasing a large number of latex balloons could require special permission from the Civil Aviation Authority. If you are using a professional balloon supplier for your release they will obtain any permission required.
Latex Balloons & The Environment
Latex balloons are made from 100% natural latex extracted from cloned trees planted and harvested in tropical regions and are biodegradable, however, this process takes place over many years. If they are released they should never have a string attached.
The latex used to make balloons is extracted from cloned rubber trees planted and harvested in tropical regions. Rubber trees are planted in very precise rows 22ft apart. After approximately 6 years the trees are ready to be tapped. This means the natural rubber can be extracted and taken to the factory to produce the latex needed for balloons. This method is also a great way of saving rainforests as villagers can earn a wage by farming the trees instead of cutting them down.
Choking hazard. Latex balloons should be kept away from young children as small pieces of latex could be swallowed and cause death. Dispose of any burst balloons sensibly and safely to avoid this from happening.