Today, most balloons are made out of either rubber or mylar. But here’s a fun fact for you all to hop on board the balloon train because this party theme is a must if you want ‘wow’ at your celebration.
Rubber or latex balloons are made by extracting the sap from a live tree of the rubber plant, Hevea Brasiliensis.
Latex is in fact 100% biodegradable. After a latex balloon is inflated, it begins to develop a patina, which is the oxidation of the latex. After the balloon pops or deflates, it degrades just like any other organic substance. Many of the attachments such as ribbons or strings do not have the same properties as latex and causes the decomposition to become much slower but some studies show that it can take only 6 weeks to fully break down a latex balloon. The exposure to water, sunlight, and soil causes the latex to breakdown at approximately the same rate as an oak tree leaf. That’s faster than a piece of wood!
On the other hand; Mylar balloons, also known as foil balloons, are made from a polyester resin coated with a metallic foil, simply for a decorative effect. As fun and gorgeous these balloons are, they not biodegradable and is advised to avoid as they can take anywhere from six months to four years to decompose. Massive impact difference.
The balloon council website is filled with informative balloon practices and is definitely worth a look before pursuing with large balloon installations for your event.