Some Scientists Want To Ban Glitter Due To Potential Environmental Harm

With trendy sparkle cappuccinos and stretch mark glitter painting making headlines in just the last month, it’s difficult to fathom a society without glitter — but some scientists argue we should start to.

Just as glitter clings to the skin, hair, and our enemies for the low low price of $10, it also poses an environmental threat to the world’s oceans and the creatures in them.

“I think all glitter should be banned, because it’s microplastic,” Dr. Trisia Farrelly at Massey University in New Zealand told British newspaper The Independent. “When people think about glitter they think of party and dress-up glitter. But glitter includes cosmetic glitters as well, the more everyday kind that people don’t think about as much.”

Richard Thompson, a professor at Plymouth University, agrees.

“I was quite concerned when somebody bought my daughters some shower gel that had glitter particles in it,” he told CNN. “That stuff is going to escape down the plughole and potentially enter the environment.”

The microplastics in question are “tiny bits of shiny plastic,” CNN explains, and they’re becoming a topic of conversation for scientists in the United Kingdom. The U.K. is already implementing a ban on microbeads (a type of microplastic found in many face washes) next year, and for some scientists, expanding that ban to all microplastics is the logical next step.

While the news certainly isn’t heartening for glitter fanatics, it isn’t all bad: biodegradable glitter brands exist like EcoStardust and BioGlitz, and even some sizable brands like Lush uses biodegradable glitter in their bath products.

The best part is, they’re ever bit as shimmery.

You Can't Ship Glitter To Your Enemies, Sorry


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