Have you ever marvelled at a beautiful balloon display but felt slightly uncomfortable about the use of so much plastic and gas? Well good news! A professional balloon display needn’t be bad for the environment at all! Tony from Party on Up explained to me just how eco-friendly their balloons are. I was amazed!
Tony: “We use 3 types of balloons: latex, bubble and foil. Our latex balloons are made from the natural sap of rubber trees which are grown in rain forests and are very good for the planet. They discourage deforestation because they can produce rubber for 40 years and provide farmers with a good income, and tapping the sap doesn’t hurt the tree. The latex is fully compostable and will degrade in about the same time as an oak leaf. All the colour pigments in our balloons are non-toxic. Our bubble balloons (made from plastic) are recyclable. We encourage our customers to return their used balloons to us and we will dispose of them responsibly. Our foil balloons (made from mylar, a type of polyester) can also be returned to us and we will upcycle or re-purpose them. We won’t re-sell them, but instead we heat-treat the mylar to change its composition then use it to add colour to a new display or to make into a balloon weight. Whenever we dismantle a display at the end of its use we’ll reuse all the pieces many times over.
“We don’t use helium to fill our balloons, we use balloon gas. Helium is a finite resource and is needed more and more as a coolant for MRI scanners or in the manufacture of superconductors and components to be used in space. When MRI scanners are cleaned, the liquid helium inside isn’t pure enough to re-use as a coolant as it has become contaminated by the oxygen and nitrogen in the air, so can either be released safely into the atmosphere or collected and sold on as balloon gas. Even so we do try to minimise our use of balloon gas and many of our displays are air-filled.
“We were one of the first places in the UK to sign up to the Pro-Environment Balloon Alliance (PEBA) who promote environmental responsibility within the industry. We won’t sell balloons for release and we urge our customers to be responsible and dispose of their balloons carefully. Balloon release is essentially littering and is against the law in many areas. It’s banned on National Trust land and by many UK councils. We work to California balloon law standards which are the highest in the world.
“What we do is art. We’ve had our work featured on TV and in fashion magazines. We don’t just blow up balloons, we’ve invested in a lot of training to provide the best service and knowledge to our customers. We use only the highest quality balloons from Canada, America and Europe, and we avoid the cheap Chinese imports as they are of poor quality and produced with little regard for the environment. We’re very proud of what we do and we want all our customers to enjoy our displays without those nagging doubts about the impact on our planet. We provide balloon decor for any celebration and to suit any budget, from the most basic 3-balloons-on-a-weight which you can order and collect, up to us spending a day decorating your venue. We’ve even decorated a portaloo!”
For more information go to
www.partyonup.co.uk/eco or drop into the shop and see for yourself.