As members of the Pro Environment Balloon Alliance (PEBA), concerned with the protection of the environment and how we can help, we have started conducting our own experiments to see for ourselves how latex balloons degrade, and how long this process takes. Some results are as follows.
Test was commenced on 30th December 2017. The photos shown here were taken on 2nd March 2018, two months after the experiment began.
Balloon colours have faded even more, particularly the Pearl Pink and Pearl Lime Green. The Pearl Pink has faded so much that it is almost white and unrecognisable as originally pink. The Ruby Red and Pearl Lime Green appear to be the worst effected, with small holes and a brittle appearance. The Diamond Clear is degrading quite quickly, and has melted in on itself and become discoloured. The Yellow also has holes forming and cracks. The jewel colours don’t have many holes forming yet, but have melted on themselves and would be unusable.
The wind has moved the balloons around in the box, so some of them are now on top of each other and overlapping. The heat from Sydney summer has also caused some of them to melt / mould together. We have chosen not to disrupt them too much and haven’t pulled them apart, except to lift them up to inspect them each month.
If anyone would like to participate, we are happy to provide you with the balloons in the kit. Please pop into the store if you’d like some, or get in touch and we can post them to you. The more participants we have, the more data we can collect to see how different environments around Australia effect how the balloons degrade.