Latex Balloon Biodegradability Testing 21/12/2017 Observations

Many people have expressed interest in conducting testing on the biodegradability of latex balloons. Whether you are a member of PEBA (Pro Environment Balloon Alliance), or not, it would be fantastic to have you involved. I have tried to set the test up using correct “Scientific Method”.  Who’s in?

The test consists of:

  • 1 x open 13 litre container (Bunnings), or similar, with a couple of holes drilled in the base, filled to three quarters with soil from your local area.
  • 9 x Latex Balloon (Manufacturer of Your Choice)

1 x Standard White  Severe oxidation, deterioration of the neck and several holes.

1 x Fashion Black  Oxidation, least affected balloon.

1 x Standard Yellow Severe Oxidation and numerous holes.

1 x Jewel / Crystal Ruby Red  Massive deterioration. Balloon falling apart.

1 x Diamond Clear Severe deterioration. Balloon has collapsed into itself.

1 x Jewel / Crystal Emerald Green Deterioration around the neck. Severe oxidation.

1 x Pearl / Metallic Pink  Massive deterioration around neck. Balloon falling apart

1 x Pearl / Metallic Sapphire Blue Severe deterioration around neck. One hole.

1 x Pearl / Metallic Lime Green  Numerous holes and severe deterioration of the whole balloon.

  • It is interesting that the Fashion Black and Jewel Emerald Green have been the slowest balloons to break down, yet they are the fastest when still in their packaging.
  • The balloons should be inflated to size and then let down. This is because most balloons that find their way into the environment have been inflated.
  • The variety of balloons and colours has been selected because experience tells us that some balloons (e.g. darker colours and Jewel / Crystal) biodegrade faster than others and it is necessary to measure the difference.
  • The container should not be covered and should be left outside under all weather conditions.
  • Please photograph your experiment every 30 days (or less) and take note of any changes, etc.
  • The data collected from these tests conducted under different soil and weather conditions will be invaluable.
  • I will also be doing two separate tests, using beach sand and sea water.
  • Data updates and all results will be published on