Collect • Protect • Preserve

Our mission is to collect balloons after people are finished using them, but before they end up as trash, causing harm to the environment, wildlife, and even us (from micro and nano-plastics). Balloon Mission’s motto, “Collect-Protect-Preserve,” aims to collect all foil and latex balloon pieces and ensure they’re safely disposed of so we can protect animals and preserve our ecosystems. Through our inspiring outreach programs, people are taking an active stand against plastic pollution, while still celebrating life’s moments.

In the short term, we are partnering with Covanta, a solid waste-to-energy solution on Long Island, which will convert all balloon materials into energy. In the long term, through funding from donations and grant awards, we’ll recycle balloons into other products like industrial flooring through TerraCycle.

In collaboration with environmental groups, marine biologists, and educators, who are experts in this field, we are exploring the best end-of-use solutions for balloons.

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We are proud to be partnering with ACDS and their 200 participants who collect balloons from bin locations, then sort and count them at their Merrick and Plainview sites. This symbiotic relationship with Balloon Mission works in keeping with ACDS’s goal of increasing life and social skills and work readiness for their participants. We help bring value to them while they bring value to us! Understanding the metrics of how people celebrate, and the types of balloons they use will help identify trends and developments, which are vital information we’re sharing with other environmental organizations. Together we all make a difference!

Creating a new social norm to collect balloons will help reduce the harmful microplastics generated from balloons. For every balloon sold and responsibly collected, it is one less on the land or water body.

Balloon Mission strives to partner with educators, environmental researchers, businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies, legislators, and cultural institutions to promote environmental awareness and galvanize action to change balloon behavior. We have learned that collaboration sparks greater ideas and progress for a better world. We actively seek and welcome questions and feedback.

The information on our website is sourced from the following environmental organizations:

Atlantic Marine Conservation Society https://www.amseas.org/
Balloons Blow https://balloonsblow.org/
Prevent Balloon Litter https://www.preventballoonlitter.org
Cornell Cooperative Extension – Marine  https://ccesuffolk.org/marine
Jones Beach Energy & Nature Center https://www.jonesbeachenc.org/
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) https://www.noaa.gov/
NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (NY DEC) https://www.dec.ny.gov/24.html
New York Ocean https://www.sgocean@cornell.edu
NY State Ocean & Marine Outreach https://www.SeaGrant.sunysb.edu
Ocean Conservancy  https://oceanconservancy.org/
Operation SPLASH! https://www.operationsplash.com/
Ocean Conservation Society: Ocean Conservation Society: Help Protect Our Oceans Today

Our Goals

Balloon Mission is full of ideas and goals to help preserve the health of our environment for future generations.
We seek collaboration with other concerned people on the problems we’re facing today and work to find solutions together.
As we listen and learn, growing from our experiences, our goals and solutions will reflect it.
Outlined below are our Short-Term and Long-Term goals with targeted solutions.

Short-Term Goals

Most people don’t know the surprising and harmful effects of balloon litter on the environment. Balloons are among the top ten types of litter found during coastal cleanups and the third deadliest debris to marine life in our waters. When balloons are released into the air, either intentionally or accidentally, they either burst into little pieces or deflate and return to the surface with their long plastic ribbons. This is bad news for wildlife that become entangled, making it impossible for them to swim, fly, or move. Animals also die from starvation due to blockages in their intestines because they eat balloons that look and smell like jellyfish. Those tiny fragments also break down into microplastics which have been found in fish, shellfish, and even our own bodies. Micro and nano plastics are found in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink.

Create a new cultural norm to balloon responsibly. Through education and outreach programs we empower and inspire activism through our Balloon Collection initiatives. We offer presentations for schools, libraries, nature and cultural art centers.

Our fun and inspiring assembly programs include:

  • demonstrations, contests, art projects,
  • a pledge to share the message and balloon responsibly
  • alternative ways to celebrate instead of using balloons
  • key messages about consumption and recycling behaviors

January 2023: Assembly presentations for HD Fayette Elementary School, Camp Avenue Elementary School, Old Mill Road Elementary School. Key messages delivered to 1,200 students in grades K – 6.

Seeking participation from:

  • Catering Halls and Event party Spaces – Our goal is to make it simple for party venues to pop-n-drop balloons from events with their own on-site balloon bin. (Weddings, showers, anniversaries, retirement, etc)
  • Gyms that celebrate milestones with balloons
  • Schools – Nursery, Day Care Centers, BOCES, Elementary, Middle, and Highschool districts, Universities (Hofstra, Adelphi, Nassau Community College)
  • Nature and Cultural Arts Centers, museums
  • Kids party venues – Laser Bounce, Planet Play, As You Wish Parties, Gymnastics, Bounce, Escape Room, Celebrations, The Little Ladies Club, etc.
  • Whole Foods (as part of their ongoing recycling efforts)
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension

Balloon Bins are currently in fifteen locations (6 public)

North Merrick Elementary Union Free School District (3 buildings)
Bellmore-Merrick Central Highschool District (6 buildings)

Cultural Institutions:
Long Island Children’s Museum – Garden City

Environmental Organizations:
Operation SPLASH! – Freeport
CEED LI – Brookhaven

ACDS Day Hab Centers:
Merrick & Plainview

Pure Barre:
South Carolina

Raise awareness of Balloon Mission with Balloon Retailers and Designers – Help message to purchasers that they can recycle their balloons in a pop-n-drop balloon bin.

Create buy-in with Retailers and Designers by asking them to use a Balloon Mission tag with every balloon purchase. Find a way to incentivize and create buy-in. The tag will have a QR code with Balloon Mission Logo on one side of the tag, and an informational rhyme on the other side. Purchasers can scan the QR code to find the nearest Pop-n-Drop Balloon bin location or reach out to us and mail in.

Balloon Releases in the Town of Hempstead and Long Beach still occur despite Ordinances banning Balloon Releases.

Town of Hempstead Ordinance Code Chapter 172 passed November 12, 2019.

Long Beach – passed April 16, 2019.

Raise awareness by posting “DO NOT RELEASE BALLOONS” signs at parks and beaches in the Town of Hempstead and Long Beach. Additional information shows why “Balloon Releases harm the Environment” with “Alternate Ways to Celebrate without Balloons.”

  • Contact the Town of Hempstead for approval to post signs.
  • Engage with local Chamber of Commerce and Scout troops to help post signs.

Long-Term Goals

  • Use TerraCycle for an end-of-use solution to repurpose balloons into industrial flooring. Fundraise and solicit for grants.
  • Create a roadmap for other Townships and Municipalities for balloon recycling initiatives.
  • Create a new behavior and cultural norm to balloon responsibly.
  • Advocate and work with other Environmental groups to help lobby for Bill Passage to prevent Balloon Releases in NY State

                     – Legislation – New York State – Two bills in Committee to prevent balloon release.

                            – NY State Assembly Bill S605 – Prohibits the Release of certain balloons (Sponsor: Brian Kavanagh) In Senate Committee: Environmental Conservation Committee January 5, 2023. https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2023/S605
(The previous bill was 25 balloons or more, this bill amends to 10 balloons or more)

                          – NY State Assembly Bill S2262 – Relates to prohibiting the release of certain balloons (Sponsor: Anthony H. Palumbo) In Senate Committee: Environmental Conservation Committee
January 19, 2023. https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2023/S2262


Protecting our environment and wildlife from harmful balloon litter is our number one priority. Whether it’s cleaning up beaches, parks, or roads, our goal is to clean up litter wherever we find it. Balloon Mission was happy to participate in a Balloon Survey and Beach marine debris cleanup sponsored by the New York State DEC & Jones Beach Energy & Nature Center.

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New York State DEC & Jones Beach Energy & Nature Center.
-November 22, 2022.
Balloon Mission founder Cynthia Seibold with Jones Beach ENC Educator holding a pink balloon ribbon tangled in a twig with “ghost” netting that was buried in the sand.