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Environment


Mr Balloons is committed to minimising the environmental impact of the products it sells to customers. Following is some basic information about balloons and the environment.

Latex balloons are biodegradable
Latex is derived from rubber trees, and is a natural substance that breaks down when exposed to light and water. Oxidation, the ‘frosting’ that makes latex balloons look as if they are losing their colour, is one of the first signs of the degradation process. 

Research shows that under similar environmental conditions, latex balloons will biodegrade at about the same rate as a leaf from an oak tree. The actual total degradation time will vary depending on the precise conditions. 

What happens to balloons that fly away?
Often latex balloons are released either on purpose or accidentally. Research shows that most of these latex balloons—the ones that are well-tied and have no structural flaws—rise to an altitude of about eight kilometres, where they freeze, breaking into spaghetti-like pieces that scatter as they return to earth. While we do know that animals occasionally eat these soft slivers of rubber, the evidence indicates that pieces ultimately pass through the digestive system without harming the animal. 

What about balloon litter?
Balloons are not a significant litter problem. However, Mr Balloons encourages consumers to dispose of balloons — like all products — properly. We put weights on all helium-filled balloons to keep them from floating away accidentally and ask consumers to put deflated balloons in the proper receptacles. Children under the age of eight always should be supervised while playing with latex balloons because of the possibility of choking. 

Are there choking hazards with small children?
It is important that consumers be aware of suffocation hazards to children under eight years old — who may choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons. We recommend:

  • adult supervision

  • keeping uninflated balloons from children

  • discarding broken balloons at once.

What about latex allergies?
Latex allergies present a moderate health problem for a very small percentage of the population. 

Since the late 1970s, the balloon industry and its retailers have been providing synthetic, metallised balloons that offer a wide range of festive colours, unique shapes and messages as an alternative to latex, if required.

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