There has been some debate and confusion over how to best dispose of balloons, and as to their environmental impact. How to responsibly dispose of your used balloons depends on what they are made of:
Latex balloons are made from 100% natural latex tapped from the rubber tree – Hevea Brasiliensis, a completely natural product. Organic pigments are added to the latex to make hundreds of colours.
It is thought that latex balloons decompose at about the same rate as an oak leaf in natural soil conditions, but depending on the exact conditions the balloons end up in (i.e. salt water, sand etc) we would advise that they could take between 1 year and 3 years to decompose fully. For more information see PEBA Latex Balloon Biodegradability Observations
Don't let go! - we love balloons but we love the environment too
We do not support balloon releases and we urge our customers 'Don't let go'. When Balloons are released into the air they will fall into our environment and simply become 'litter'. Although they will eventually decompose, until that time they will litter our beaches and countryside, they will be not only visually offensive but may also cause harm to wildlife and marine life.
Mylar (Metallic/Plastic) Balloons
Mylar balloons are made with a plastic/nylon, synthetic material that is recyclable but it does not biodegrade. They will be in the landfills forever, so recycle them along with your recyclable plastics.
Re-use rather than recycle! The best alternative to recycling Mylar Balloons is simply to save them to be reinflated on another occasion. Mylar balloons are fragile so this doesn't work every time, but If you insert a straw at least 6- 10 inches in length up into the hole where it was originally inflated, you can press out the remaining helium in order to store the balloons flat ready to reinflate when you next need them!