Most people incorrectly believe that balloons are made of plastic but this is the furthermost from the truth. Latex balloons are actually made from the sap tapped from a rubber tree, so they are completely natural. As we all know, trees are great for our environment, so by encouraging third world countries to plant these trees rather than destroying them, we are making a difference that will beneficial for our world. Similar to the way maple syrup is collected, the trees are tapped by drilling small holes into their trunks and from there, the sap is collected and does not damage the trees. Each tree lives for about 40 years and produces enough sap for three standard size balloons daily. The balloons that Enchanted Moments use are made from rubber trees located in plantations that are Rain forest Alliance Certified.
Unfortunately, it is the ribbon and plastic clips that are sometimes put on the balloons that cause the problems. However, if the balloons are tied to a weight and not allowed to be released into the environment then there are no issues. When Enchanted Moments do a balloon release, it is always with latex balloons, hand knotted, NEVER any plastic clips, and we only attached raffia as this breaks down very easily and quickly.
The balloons are filled with Helium which is a non-toxic, non-flammable natural gas and is lighter than air which causes balloons to float. After leaving earth, the balloons travel approximately 8 km up to where the air is very cold. This cold air expands the balloons and causes them to shatter into pieces about the size of a 10 cent coin. The tiny portions return to earth where they begin to breakdown and biodegrade at the same rate as an oak tree leaf.
Healthy animals will not normally choose to eat a latex balloon but studies have shown that even small animals can easily pass an ingested latex balloon. Latex is not plastic and as such will not hurt any animals if ingested.