Why do we need a balloon collection program?

Many articles and news reports have been written on the prolific amount of harmful balloon litter in the environment, as well as their surge in popularity since the pandemic.  Environmental groups consistently engage in beach and coastal cleanups in a tiring effort to keep these waters clean from plastics and protect wildlife. Other marine organizations conduct research and perform balloon surveys, collecting data and research to identify trends and developments in balloon usage. We’ve learned balloons are not biodegradable and their burst pieces of plastic result in micro and nano plastics that end up in the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. Organizations worldwide continue to focus on balloons as a serious problem that needs to be solved.

The second problem is a more complicated one. Awareness.  People generally don’t think about balloons. They’re fun. It’s not a big deal if they fly away or don’t end up in the trash.  Most people are usually shocked when we share what happens to balloons and where they end up.

Balloon Mission is taking an innovative approach to addressing this problem by tackling it on the front end. Why can’t we collect balloons and re-purpose them in a way that keeps them from the traditional waste management system entirely?

We’ve created the first program to collect balloons after an event and before it becomes litter.

We’re raising awareness among children and families on the unintended harm they have on the environment. We do this through community outreach programs and assemblies within elementary schools, libraries, nature, and cultural centers. We also have balloon bins placed in high schools and middle schools to capture balloons from sporting events, sweet sixteens, car washes, etc. If there is a balloon being used, we want to raise awareness to dispose of it responsibly. We also offer alternative ways to celebrate instead of balloons.

We’re currently exploring different end-of-use solutions for the balloons and welcome ideas and feedback. It is only in this way that we can grow and find the best solution.