Go Green: Natural Material

Are balloons made of plastic?

With concerns about the environment growing, everyone is becoming more aware of what goes into the things they buy. Where once we bought something, used it and then threw it aside without a second thought, now we are becoming more aware. Many people try to avoid single use plastics, for example, and aim to buy products that are kinder to the environment.

It would be easy to think that balloons were made of plastic, when we think of a natural material we don’t really think of bright shiny colours! The truth is that balloons are not made of plastic at all, infact Gemar balloons are made from 100% natural materials.

A natural material is defined as something that comes from a plant, an animal or the ground. Things like cotton, wool or stone are all natural materials. In contrast, synthetic materials are man made. Plastics fall into this category, along with many other things. When manufacturing latex balloons there are two main options, natural or synthetic latex.

Synthetic latex is made in a factory, in a process that involves using chemical agents to change substances at a molecular level. Natural latex, on the other hand, is harvested from Hevea Brasiliensis trees in the same way that maple sap is harvested to make maple syrup. The tree is not harmed and will live for many years, giving a reliable harvest as well as contributing to the local ecosystem.

Of course, balloons are made from more than rubber. We also take care to use organic dyes and pigments, meaning Gemar balloons are made from 100% natural materials.

The question is, why does it matter?

In general, it takes far less energy to produce a natural material than it does to create the synthetic equivalent. Infact natural materials are considered to be carbon neutral in their original form. This means that you can walk out into the world and pick up a material such as a piece of wood and consider it carbon neutral. The same applies to the sap of the rubber tree, before it’s processed.

Not only that, natural materials are biodegradable (good news since it means they don’t have to be incinerated) and many are renewable. Natural latex biodegrades at the same rate as an oak leaf, returning completely to nature.

We don’t support balloon releases, any form of litter is unsightly and poses a danger to wildlife. All balloons should always be popped and disposed of responsibly. Even so, it’s good to know that while a plastic bag might be around for hundreds of years, a Gemar balloon will biodegrade into harmless natural substances.

Nature is full of cycles, nothing wasted and nothing gained. Our balloons are part of their own cycle, starting life as milky sap dripping from a tree and ending as organic carbons that can be absorbed harmlessly back into the soil.

We use 100% natural materials, because what we leave behind matters.

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