Mylar Balloons and the Environment: Save Our Oceans!

Everyone loves balloons for birthdays and other celebrations – but where do those balloons end up when the party is over? Balloons, along with millions of tons of other trash, are constantly washed up on coasts around the world. They travel far and wide after being released and can end up severely harming animals, particularly marine life. This blog will provide you with tips for positively impacting the marine environment and preventing oceanic waste!

mylar.imageMylar vs. Latex Balloons

Two types of balloons are commonly used for recreational activities: latex and mylar. While latex balloons are made from rubber tree sap and are considered biodegradable, mylar balloons are made of synthetic nylon with metallic coating and are non-biodegradable. Mylar balloons heavily contribute to oceanic waste, but even latex balloons are not as environmentally friendly as they seem. Although natural latex is biodegradable, the processed latex in balloons is covered in preservatives and plasticizers, causing it not to be 100% eco-friendly.

Environmental Impact

Oceanic pollution is bad for everyone: it destroys the aesthetic beauty of nature, causes us to spend millions of dollars on oceanic waste removal projects, and hurts tourism and leisure activities. When you’re out boating, you don’t want your beautiful view of the ocean to be obstructed by garbage! However, the most devastating effect is animal harm. It can take anywhere from six months to four years for a latex balloon to degrade, and even longer for a mylar balloon. This gives them plenty of time to harm our marine life before they finally break down. Deflated balloons are frequently ingested by animals, causing intestinal problems, and balloon ribbons are responsible for animal entanglement and strangulation.

Try These Eco-Friendly Decorations!

There are plenty of decorations that are both fun for you and safe for the environment. Many websites advertise compostable utensils and non-toxic party favors. You can also try out some sustainable alternatives to balloon decorations. Reusable streamers, banners, and kites are just a few examples of fun decorations that won’t go to waste! Instead of releasing balloons in celebration, planting trees and flowers is a perfect way to commemorate people and events that has a positive influence on our delicate ecosystem.

 Protecting Our Oceans

Volunteering to collect and dispose of coastal trash is a great way to be actively involved in protecting our oceans from harmful waste. Organized trash removal projects successfully retrieve thousands of pounds of trash that wash up from the ocean each year, and information on how to participate is readily available online.

Balloons make up only a portion of the total oceanic waste, but a few simple adjustments can drastically improve conditions for marine life!