Latex Balloons and the Environment
When used responsibly, balloons bring a great deal of
colour, fun and excitement to the world.
The biodegradability of latex is being studied scientifically
orldwide. Latex balloons are made from natural rubber
which is a renewable resource and biodegradable,
however we do not want balloons to be littering the environment.
The most important actions we can take are:
To support effective legislation to ban
deliberate organised balloon releases
Educate customers and the public on the responsible use and disposal of balloons
A number of latex balloon manufacturers source the natural latex used to make their balloons from Rainforest Alliance Certified Plantations.
The Rainforest Alliance is a growing network of farmers, foresters, communities, scientists, governments, environmentalists and businesses. This network is dedicated to conserving biodiversity and ensuring sustainable livelihoods.
The Rainforest Alliance are an international, non-profit organization working to build strong forests, healthy agricultural landscapes and thriving communities through creative and pragmatic collaboration.
Rubber Trees (Hevea Braziliensis)
Latex is a natural product obtained by tapping Rubber Trees.
Rubber Trees are an ancient rainforest species originally
from the Amazon Jungle in Brazil.
Chico Mendes, a Brazilian rubber tapper, became famous when he
organised the National Council of Rubber Tappers in Brazil to help protest
against the clear cutting of land for cattle grazing. Thanks to his efforts,
vast areas of “extractive reserves” were set aside, within Brazil.
These reserves allow for the sustainable harvest of goods, such as rubber
or nuts, and protect against the clear cutting of trees.
In 1988 Chico Mendes was murdered by a cattle rancher because of his work to protect the rainforest and the “extractive reserves. His work has been carried on by his co-workers and supporters around the world.
The maintenance and planting of rubber trees has a significant impact on reducing climate change. Carbon sequestration is achieved through the uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and its conversion into cellulose and organic matter. The amount of carbon sequestered in one hectare of a 31 year old stand of rubber trees is 596 Megatonnes.
Four Rubber Trees counteract the environmental footprint of an average person from a middle income society.
A single Rubber Tree, during its lifetime, counteracts the carbon emissions from a car being driven 36,000 kilometres.
Rubber plantations are able to sell carbon offsets to a country that emits carbon above agreed-upon limits.