Sustainability made simple

Can You Reuse Balloons? Foil vs. Latex

reuse balloons
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Pexels

If you have a special event coming up, you may be wondering if you can reuse balloons. We’ll take a look at some of the best options that are environmentally friendly.

There are several types of balloons that you can purchase, with some of the most common types including foil and latex balloons. Each type comes with its own pros and cons. 

Balloons are often used for events and special occasions, however, they are often disposed of incorrectly, posing a threat to the environment and our marine life. For example, many people dump balloons or release them into the sky, which is a big no-no!

Balloons made from mylar and vinyl can pose an even bigger threat to our environment as the materials are not compostable and can leech chemicals into their surroundings.    

Although foil balloons contain mylar (a polyester film), there are ways that you can use these types of balloons responsibly. We’ll be looking at ways you can reuse both foil and latex balloons, as well as the best, environmentally-friendly disposal methods.  

How to Reuse Foil Balloons

You can reuse balloons made from foil by deflating them and storing them properly.
You can reuse balloons made from foil by deflating them and storing them properly.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / anncapictures)

Foil balloons are often used at parties and big events, such as annual birthdays. You may have already seen these in the form of numbers or written with some type of messaging. So, how do you reuse foil balloons? There are a few key steps to follow so that you can reuse your foil balloons. 


  • First, you need to start by deflating your balloon correctly. Take a drinking straw and locate the tab at the end of your balloon. Insert the straw into the opening of the tab where the plastic slips are. This will allow air to escape from the balloon. 
  • Listen to see if you hear the air coming out. If you do, push down gently and apply pressure to the balloon to release the air. As it begins to flatten, you can continue to fold it until there is no air left inside.  


  • Store your deflated balloons in a cool, dry, dark, and well-ventilated space. Don’t expose them to extreme temperatures, as it may decrease their lifespan. 


  • You can easily reuse your foil balloons. Take your balloon to a store to be refilled with either air or helium, both of which are environmentally-friendly options as they don’t pose a threat to the environment. This helps to prevent excess waste that you may have created by purchasing more and is more sustainable in the long term.
  • You could even reuse your foil balloons as wrapping paper. This may work especially well to keep an item away from direct sunlight, due to its highly reflective surface. However, you should not use the foil to wrap around anything edible.   

Once your foil balloon has reached the end of its lifespan, it is important that you dispose of it correctly. Foil balloons are not biodegradable, therefore you shouldn’t release them into the surrounding environment. To dispose of your foil balloon, you should deflate it and take it to a recycling point. This way, you are ensuring it will cause minimal environmental damage.  

Can You Reuse Latex Balloons?

While latex balloons are 'biodegradable', they are still harmful for the environment.
While latex balloons are ‘biodegradable’, they are still harmful for the environment.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Pexels)

Latex balloons are another popular balloon choice among those who use the decoration. However, despite being labeled as ‘biodegradable’, they still pose a threat to the environment in other ways. 

If you don’t dispose of latex balloons probably, they can end up posing a threat to wildlife and the environment. Despite being biodegradable, latex balloons can actually take anywhere between 3-4 months to decompose.

Animals can get stuck or ingest parts of the balloon as they mistake it for food. They can also litter and pollute the environment, and even cause power surges and outages when they come into contact with a power line. 

However, there are ways that you can handle latex balloons responsibly if you do decide to use them. Here are some tips: 

  • If you want to reuse the balloon, untie it from the bottom and release the air. When you’re ready to reuse it, simply blow it back up.  
  • To dispose of your balloon, pop it, cut up the pieces and place it in the trash or a compost bin.

Ensuring that you dispose of your latex balloons correctly will help to prevent environmental pollution, as well as help to protect animals and wildlife. 

Other Ways to Reuse Balloons

Although you can reuse balloons, paper-based decorations are more eco friendly.
Although you can reuse balloons, paper-based decorations are more eco friendly.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / tdam94)

While you can recycle and dispose of your balloons, there are also plenty of other effective ways that you can reuse your foil balloons. Here are some other ways that you can use them: 

  • Cut them up and make them into tinsel or tree decorations 
  • Use them for crafting or other art-based hobbies  

However, there are some better alternatives to balloons that you could consider, that are more environmentally friendly. For example, you could use eco-friendly confetti made from natural materials, bunting, and paper chains. These options are plastic free and will be kinder for the planet. Even better, you can also make some of these items from home. 

You could even try making your own homemade Halloween decorations this year. Again, these are a great alternative to any decorations that may contain plastic.   

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