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Is Glitter Bad For The Environment?

by Toni Olukiran

2min read

From festival looks to birthday and Christmas cards, glitter can be found in many aspects of everyday life. But is it bad for the environment? Read on for the full lowdown. 

What is glitter made out of?

Glitter is made from aluminium and polyethylene terephthalate — a form of microplastic. It was first produced in 1937, but now it can be found easily, in everyday gifts as well as makeup and nail polish. An interesting glitter-based fact for you: the concept of glitter is pretty old. There is evidence to support the theory that minerals were ground up and acted as glitter by prehistoric humans.

Is glitter bad for the environment?

It turns out that, yep, glitter is indeed bad for the environment. Microplastics like glitter take over a thousand years to degrade. And, though we complain that glitter gets everywhere when you get a sparkly card, it rings even more true on an environmental level. Glitter ends up washing into seas, and there is evidence showing that glitter is one of the offenders resulting in marine life actually ingesting microplastics. 

Is eco-glitter bad for the environment?

With increased awareness about the environmental impact of glitter, there has been interest in eco-glitter, with several companies touting their alternatives as much more environmentally friendly as they are biodegradable. However, a recent study from Anglia Ruskin University has shown that it can still prove harmful to the environment. 

So the next time you’re planning to use glitter for your next big event, it's definitely worth looking into alternatives that can give you the same effect with a lower environmental cost.

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Toni Olukiran
by Toni Olukiran

Toni is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants, and when she’s not writing posts about everything from Jamaican cooking to vegan champagne, she’s making a Spotify playlist (she was at 200, at her last count) or playing tennis in the park.

Read more from Toni


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