Balloons and the Environment

At BAPIA we take our environmental responsibilities very seriously and we believe that it is important for us to be a leader in the field in order to protect the future of our members and the balloon and party industry.  

Having carried out a survey of members recently, and based on the results from the 150+ responses received, BAPIA has taken the decision that it will no longer support balloon releases.  With numerous balloon bans being implemented across the globe, including some in the UK it is necessary to take pro-active action to thwart the spread of the blanket balloon bans that we are seeing.  These are not simply bans on balloon releases but are complete bans on balloons, from helium filled latex and foils right through to entertainers with the twisting balloon.  Both EBPC (European Balloon and Party Council) and PEBA (Pro Environment Balloon Alliance) have already taken similar stances and now BAPIA are adding their voice to cause in an effort to protect the balloon industry.

John Bowler, Chief Executive of BAPIA said “This decision has been taken based upon the views of our members, and the desire to save the balloon industry.  With only 37% of respondents showing any support for balloon releases and 70% agreeing that balloon releases create litter we feel that the majority of our members are strongly in favour of this action.  We cannot bury our heads in the sand and pretend it is not happening, it is time to stand up and be counted.   We believe that the anti-balloon campaigns are gaining momentum and they are citing litter damage to the environment and wildlife as one of the main reasons, and it has to be said that it is an indisputable fact that any balloon release will see the balloons return to earth at some point and create litter.  We believe that we have to act now to protect our members and our industry!”

BAPIA believes that the only way to protect the balloon industry is to set some standards that will set us out as an environmentally responsible industry made up of environmentally responsible professionals.

John went on to say “As always, BAPIA is looking to increase the professionalism within the balloon and party industry and is currently looking at a strategy to do this and to help safeguard the future of our members and the industry as a whole.”

We recently carried out a survey of our members in order to establish how they feel regarding balloon releases and there was an overwhelming response from members who felt that BAPIA should no longer support balloon releases.  We have therefore taken the step of announcing that BAPIA no longer supports balloon releases and would ask that our members follow this lead. 

We have created a press release and a small banner for members to use to show their customers that they support this environmentally responsible decision.

Member press release.docx

Balloon Release Statement.jpg

PEBA - Pro Environment Balloon Alliance (Australia based organisation)

Latex Balloons and the Environment
Balloons bring a great deal of colour, fun and excitement to the world. Latex Balloons are 100% biodegradable.
90% of balloons are used indoors. Latex production has a positive environmental impact on the world by helping combat climate change.
Latex production provides employment and income for some of the most impoverished people in the world.
The Balloon industry provides employment for tens of thousands of people in Australia, and hundreds of thousands around the world.
Although latex balloons are biodegradable, releasing balloons into the atmosphere could be classed as littering and should not be condoned.
Don’t release balloons into the atmosphere. Balloons themselves are fantastic, and do have a positive environmental footprint. Latex balloons are not plastic, and are biodegradable, but like anything we use on a daily basis, they should be disposed of properly.

EBPC - European Balloon and Party Council

Our position on balloon releases
Balloons are a unique much-loved product and are considered irreplaceable in what they o
ffer. Over the last few years the industry has seen changes in consumer viewpoints and perceptions related to such products. Although these changes and increased participation have surfaced in the last few years, the rise of social media platforms and technology has enabled better reporting of such viewpoints and perceptions.
To comply with the EBPC mission statement “To educate and promote the fun use of balloons and party products safely, ethically and in respect of the environment”, and as a responsible organisation shaping our industry, we recognise the impact of our products within its marketplace. This monitoring, along with our corporate social responsibility, has led the council to pioneer new thinking within our industry on how balloons should be handled in respect of the environment, which has led to an agreement that ‘the EBPC does not support balloon releases’ as we wish to protect the environment from unnecessary litter. While latex balloon releases are visually appealing, the resulting deflated or partially inflated balloons that return to the ground is visually o
ffensive to many, and we must respect this. This is becoming even more important as local authorities across the world are introducing penalties for balloon releases on their land
or property.
The EBPC provides a united front to protect and grow the industry by promoting and facilitating best practices through the coalition of its members across the EU. We look to all members to support our stance in this good cause and encourage promotion of this positive message with respect to the environment.
What's happening in the animal world?
We cannot say for sure how many animals are a
ffected by balloon releases. There are many reports of the same instances; however, during research at EBPC in 2016, we have identified less than 6 cases since 1885 where evidence has suggested balloons to be the cause of an animal death. This was in line with the findings of research by DEFRA in 2013.
Unfortunately, we have also found evidence of misleading claims and repeated instances of the same photograph, or pictures that have been doctored and used for bad publicity of balloons. To re-iterate, we love the environment and wish no harm to any form of life.
Don't let go – our message to consumers is clear
We are an evidence based organisation and only work with facts. If you would like more information about anything on our website, please get in touch. 

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