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PFJ 2021 ~ Pop the balloon

There are two types of balloons, latex and mylar. Latex balloons are not entirely horrible for the planet because, at some point, they biodegrade. But the process can take up to a year and, while it’s underway, balloons that escape or are released into the environment become litter and may end up in the stomachs of animals who confuse them for food. And let’s not forget that, if balloons have strings attached, they are most likely to be made from plastic, and we know what its effects are in the environment.

As for mylar balloons, they have no redeeming qualities. “Mylar” was the original brand name of a plastic product developed by Dupont. Mylar balloons are made from nylon coated with a metal finish, which means that they have a hefty carbon footprint behind them and a long, nasty life ahead, as they are not biodegradable.

Balloons are supposed to bring a few minutes of joy to our lives. Before they do that, though, some of them have already contributed to polluting the planet. Afterwards, they will continue to do so. Unfortunately, there are no impact-free, biodegradable balloons in the market, so the only alternative is not using balloons at all. After all, are those few minutes of enjoyment worth the negative impacts of balloons? Can we human beings possibly thrive without them? These are the questions we need to ask ourselves.

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