In the last few years glitters are a fashion trend, especially in the New Year’s Eve when they become a must-have. However, experts believe glitter can be harmful for both skin and the environment. This article will show why glitter is bad for the environment and where to buy biodegradable glitter as well as Eco-friendly glitter.
What IS Glitter, Exactly?
Glitter is made from tiny pieces of plastic. Generally, it consists of a layer of plastic, a thin coloured layer and a reflective layer, often made of aluminium. Due to the chemical structure of plastics, such glitter takes hundreds of years to break down. Furthermore, aluminium is also toxic for our health as it causes dementia.
Why glitter is dangerous?
1. It can’t be recycled
The tiny pieces of plastic are difficult to break down into component parts. This means, that glitter can’t be recycled. They’re also so small that they clog machinery. So, if you try to recycle paper with glitter on it, the whole lot might have to be chucked.
2. Plastic Pollution in the Ocean
A wide array of products, including cosmetics use glitter. When washed down the drain, glitter becomes a subset of marine plastic litter known as microplastic. Microplastics, which measure less than five millimeters in length, are throughout the world’s oceans. Marine life such as plankton, fish, shellfish and seabirds consume them . This leads to serious damage to the food chain. Furthermore, alarming levels of microplastic contamination have also been found in tap water.
3. Damage your eyesight
You also need to pay attention to your eyesight, as glitter can have incredibly sharp edges. In cosmetic, the edges are usually rounded. It won’t usually cause serious problems. But craft glitter is a different story. A 49-year-old woman went to hospital after glitter rubbed off a Christmas card into her eye. She almost lost her sight.
4. Child exploitation scandal
Glitter pollution has raised a protest. This protest over plastic has led companies to tout natural alternatives to glitter. Mica is a sparkly mineral that has been mined for more than 700 years and crops up in everything from eyeshadow to paint. According to some studies, children have always mined Mica in India. Although brands are trying to solve this situation, an investigation reveals that 20,000 children are working in illegal mines.
Best solutions – Eco-Friendly glitter
As discussed below, glitter is bad for our environment and for our health. For this reason, we should void buying anything covered in glitter, whether it’s home decor, party favours or a simple birthday card. In addition, we should use only biodegradable glitter and mineral based glitter cosmetics. If they’re not organic, assume they’re just nasty plastic particles with aluminium. That’s what even the most expensive brands use for glitter! One option is synthetic mica, made from a substance called fluorphlogopite. Cosmetics company such as Lush uses this instead of plastic or natural mica.
Where to buy Biodegradable Glitter?
If you are searching eco-friendly glitter, there’s a company called EcoStardust. It sells biodegradable glitter made out of cellulose from eucalyptus trees. One of their stockists is the fashion brand Asos. The fashion giant, in fact, sells this kind of glitter. EcoStardust glitter is made from sustainably farmed groves. It degrades quickly in warm, moist environments such as rubbish bins or landfill, while 10% of profits go to charity.
Companies such as Kjaer Weiss, Lily Lilo, 100% Pure, PRITI NYC, Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques and Zuii Organic produce their cosmetics only with organic, mineral based glitter.
Before reading the article, did you know that the glitter is so dangerous? have you ever tried eco-friendly glitter?
If you look for more eco-friendly brands, you can refer to our sustainable fashion page
Glitter are just one of the toxic things that companies uses. Even the production of the jeans that we wear every day have a strong impact on our environment. If you want to know more about it you should definitely read our articleHow are jeans made?
Written by Sabrina Licata