Do Paintballs Biodegrade?

Are they bad for the environment?

paintball player
Airman 1st Class Alexis Siekert/U.S. Air Force

Paintballs are completely biodegradable and will wash away from most surfaces with water or will vanish after a rainstorm. Paintballs are gelatin capsules filled with an oil or polyethylene glycol (the base of cough syrups) and food-coloring dye mixture. Both the shells and the fill will naturally biodegrade and will not leave lasting marks on the environment.

The only potential worry with paintballs is staining certain fabrics. Certain brands of paintballs will stain certain light-colored fabrics. This is dependent upon the dye used in coloring the fill and the fabric. Cheaper paints are more likely to stain white cotton or cotton/poly fabrics.