Our Obsession With All Things Glitter Is Harming The Environment

It's time to put down the glitter.

Our Obsession With All Things Glitter Is Harming The Environment

by Alyss Bowen |
Published on

Festival season is upon us, and with the festivals comes the glitter. In hair, on faces, hey even thrown on some food for Instagram purposes. Glitter is literally everywhere, but there’s a problem with it.

Eight million tonnes of glitter are ending up in our water every single day. That’s the equivalent to one garbage truck of plastic every minute.

Our obsession with glitter is doing our oceans so much harm – it’s made up of tiny bits of plastic called micro-plastics, and as you may know, plastic never, ever breaks down. Meaning it cannot be recycled, and therefore when we wash it off at the end of three-days in a field, it ends up harming our sea life.

To put it into perspective, remember the conversation about microbeads? How harmful our favourite face and body scrubs were for the environment? Those little microbeads are too made up of non-biodegradable micro-plastics, which when in our oceans were being eaten by fish. Glitter is made up of the same components, and is doing more a serious amount of damage too.

It’s hard to say what to do other than stop using glitter, or try and be more mindful when decorating your face such products as this issue is much bigger than just you or I. That being said, the more aware we are, the more we can do our bit to help.

Brands like Lush stock plastic-free alternatives in their glitter products, and they advise you avoid glitter products that contain polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP). So, next time you’re on the look-out for a cool new hair trend or make-up look, maybe stay away from the glitter and invest in something a little more eco-friendly.

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Follow Alyss on Instagram @alyssbowen

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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