At B-Loony, we have been following the European Directive to ban certain single-use plastic items in a bid to limit plastic pollution extremely closely. In fact, Commercial Director, Andy MacInnes has become something of an expert.
With only two years to implement these changes, B-Loony is committed to helping clients honour this ban, working with specific product requests, such as a replacement for plastic balloon sticks, and creating innovative eco-friendly alternatives.
The promotions industry has always been plastic heavy, and many items have already been banned in England from 2020. These include plastic straws and drink stirrers. With our global client base we continue to receive requests for a whole range of promotional products, but have made it our priority to offer sustainable alternatives as part of our response. Certain items can be made from paper, cardboard, wood, cotton or other biodegradable materials, often without being cost prohibitive.
One interesting factor is the public’s perception of balloons: they are not in fact plastic, but made from natural rubber, which will biodegrade. But as the UK’s largest supplier of printed balloons for promotional use, we have still been readying ourselves for a ban on single-use plastics over the last few years. Not for the balloons themselves, but the plastic sticks often used for promotional purposes.
So we took on the challenge to create an eco-friendly alternative to the plastic stick, and we’re delighted to be the first company in the world to have now developed a sturdy cardboard balloon grip that is fully recyclable. We feel that removing the need for single use plastic sticks is a real breakthrough, meaning that we can now offer a totally sustainable balloon and holder that is eco-friendly. The natural rubber balloon will biodegrade and the new cardboard BalloonGrip® is entirely recyclable. We have even made sure that our cardboard balloon holder costs the same as the plastic stick, a popular move with clients who are keen to maintain their sustainability credentials without increasing their budgets.
We have found that the forthcoming ban has already influenced our thinking and planning within the business. With the ability to deliver creative solutions, we can try and help change the promotions industry to rely less on plastic products, for a more eco-friendly future.
Read more of Andy’s advice in a recently published article in Event Industry News: