The festival season is just around the corner again and one of the most commonly used materials for aesthetic purposes during festivals is glitter. Although everyone loves glitter and it may seem harmless, did you know that most types of glitter are actually microplastic?!
Microplastics tend to find their way into the environment, particularly our oceans, and it is a huge threat to our precious marine life. When glitter is washed down the drain, it becomes part of the growing problem of microplastics as birds and aquatic animals ingest it. One study published in the journal Geochemical Perspectives, found that microplastics have unfortunately reached the deepest point of the ocean, Challenger Deep, in the Western Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench!
A campaign group called 38 Degrees released a petition addressed to the UK Environment Secretary, Michael Gove which proposed a complete ban of glitter in the UK. The letter also references a study which found that one third of fish caught in the North Sea contained microplastic particles. The letter states: “We have no idea what long term effects microplastic will have on us, our children or the other animals and plants that share our planet. This is a very disturbing thought. Next time you eat something, what will you think?”
However, we don’t need to give up on the sparkly goodness... There are eco-friendly alternatives out there!
1. Three Mamas https://www.threemamas.com.au/shop/eco-glitter
Three Mamas sell biodegradable glitter in a variety of colours made from non-GMO Eucalyptus cellulose starting from $4 available in either a recyclable tube or a glass jar! Their glitter is cosmetic grade, vegan, cruelty free, and are available in both fine and chunky.
Project Glitter sells a range of biodegradable glitter of vibrant colours in a 5ml pot for $9.95. Their fine and chunky glitter is also plant-based, vegan, compostable, as well as non-toxic. Biodegradation of the glitter will be initiated in a soil, compost or wastewater environment where microorganisms are present!
3. Glitterazzi https://glitterazzi.me/collections/all
Glitterazzi offers a variety of mixed sized sustainable glitter starting with prices starting from $11 in a tin. Their glitter is home compost certified, marine & wastewater degradable and is made of renewable sourced raw materials!
4. Glitter Tribe https://www.theglittertribe.com.au/collections/bio-glitter
Glitter Tribe offers single or multicoloured glitter from $15 and they have pots with glitter of one size or mixed sizes. Their glitter is also made from eucalyptus trees, biodegrades in the natural environment, certified compostable, eco-friendly, and cruelty free!
5. Minimal Glitter https://www.minimalglitter.com/shop-minimal-glitter
Minimal Glitter sells a smaller range of premium biodegradable glitter from $21.95 in different sizes. Their glitter is also made from eucalyptus, cruelty free, softer than plastic-based glitter, highly reflectively and will dissolve completely when washed down the sink!
So the next time you want to make crafts with your kids or get bedazzled for a festival, consider purchasing biodegradable glitter instead to avoid contributing to the microplastic pollution!