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How glitter is harming the environment


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We all know plastic bags are destroying the environment and the wildlife within it. However, there are the lesser-known evils of everyday objects and products we use of which the detrimental effects are still widely unknown. Take for example, plastic toothbrushes, cotton ear buds, and microbeads in shower prodcuts, to name a few. One that might surprise you the most, and almost certainly one that every student uses, is glitter. Luckily for us, a new environmentally-friendly glitter (Bio Glitter) has recently been produced! 

Photo of Glitter Particles

Glitter Particles/ Image Credit: Inkwina on Wikipedia

If I were to ask you what glitter is made of, would you know?

Although you may not think it, most glitter is made from microplastic. It's impact may appear to be small due to its size, but this is in fact what makes it such a dangerous substance

The Independent claims that, 'their size makes them an item for many animals'. Of course, when consumed by marine life, this plastic eventually ends up in the food we eat. In other words, glitter is bad news for all of us. 


Glitter has become popular in make up, festivals and beauty in recent years / Image Credit: Mohamed on Pexels


What is the current impact?

Right now, it is estimated that there are a whopping 51 trillion pieces of microplastic in our oceans. That's an incomprehensible amount.

To make things worse it recently emerged that there were way more microplastics in the oceans than scientists had previously thought. The revelation came after a study conducted in a river near Manchester, UK showed that 'major floods in the area in 2015-2016 flushed more than 40bn pieces of microplastics into the sea'. That's just in one area of the tiny island that is Britain. Now think about how that adds up across the rest of the world.

According to the GuardianErik van Sebille from Utrecht University, Netherlands, said, '"n 2015 we found that 99% of all plastic in the ocean is not on the surface anymore. The problem is that we don't know where that 99% of plastic is.

"Before we can start thinking about cleaning up the plastic, we'll first need to know how it's distributed".

Although it won't get rid of the microplastics already in the ocean, there's a new eco-friendly alternative.

Bio Glitter, 'creators of the world's first plastic-free glitter', are paving the way to reduce the amount of microplastics entering our oceans. 

The company produces three different glitter products: Cosmetic glitter, Deco glitter, and Craft glitter. All their glitters are biodegradable.

Bio Glitter uses 'plant derived material (cellulose) as its basis rather than plastic and is proven through...freshwater testing to biodegrade into harmless substances in the natural environment'. 

According to the BBC, 'it's then coated in aluminium and a water based ink to give the glitter its bright colour and shine'.

You can't even tell the difference!

So next time you want to get dressed up, think about the oceans and choose Bio Glitter.

Find out which companies are now using Bio Glitter here.

Lead Image: Pixabay

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