Oct. 5 was “National Balloons Around the World Day.” Balloons are beautiful. They bring joy to our celebrations, add pizzazz to our events and provide healing relief amid our grief of losing a loved one, as we decorate heaven to receive them on a one-on-one balloon release. As certified master balloon artists, my husband and I are trained in the elements of design, safety and the environmental responsibility of balloons.
Recent news articles concerning the impact of plastic straws, bags, fishing line and baby diapers on our landfills, sea turtles, and beaches have included ALL balloons on this list. This is false.
Research and data support there are two types of balloons: Mylar and latex. Mylar balloons are plastic. They should never be sold without a weight to prevent them from polluting our environment. Balloon companies print warning labels on the package and on the mylar balloons. Latex balloons are 100 percent biodegradable. The dye used in the latex balloons is nontoxic. Latex cannot turn into plastic microbeads. Latex comes from latex trees in the rainforests. This product is making it more profitable for the farmers to sell the latex versus cutting down the trees to make more farmland.
Latex balloons, when responsibly released into the atmosphere, are hand-tied, with no plastic clips, strings or ribbons. They cold-shatter in higher altitudes and fall to earth in shards that have been proved to biodegrade in 90 days, about the same time it takes an oak leaf to biodegrade. We personally do not believe in large-scale latex balloon releases
Jeanne and John Donato
The writers are the owners of Joy-O-Loons, a balloon shop on Potter Hill Road.