Glitter is a type of microplastic that can be detrimental to the environment (and the sanity of parents everywhere)
Ah, glitter. Kids love to craft with it, teenagers love to wear it in cosmetics, and parents absolutely detest it. Sure, it’s pretty and fun but it’s annoying AF to try and clean up or keep contained in any organized manner. It turns out it’s also pretty terrible for the environment, which is why scientists are looking to ban it.
Glitter is derived from microplastics — small pieces of plastic that, while tiny, actually present a significant danger to the environment. Specifically marine environments. “Approximately 90% of the plastics in pelagic marine environments are microplastics,” the EPA says. Microplastics and microbeads found in glitter, cleaning products, and synthetic fabrics are small enough to slip through wastewater treatment facilities into oceans and other marine environments, which also makes them small enough to be ingested by a “wide range of animals in the aquatic food web.”
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Beach clean up at Jærens beautiful beach #hellestø our very good friend and ambassador for taking care of our ocean @richard.a.newman, in lightening all of us, how much micro plastic the beach are hitting. This is next level clean up, Let’s together make this happen 🙏🙌 #tavaha #beachcleanup #jæren #nordicoceanwatch #selebeachwatchers #jærenfriluftsråd #microplastics #plukkanopp #oceanlife #oceanlove #💙
In 2015, the United States enacted The Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015. This prohibits the manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of rinse-off cosmetics containing plastic microbeads. But glitter isn’t held to the same standards as microbeads and other microplastics, even though glitter (both loose glitter used in crafts and the cosmetic kind) equally contribute to the pollution of marine life.
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Layer of micro-plastics I noticed on the beach today 🙁. Although they are so small, these tiny bits of plastic can have detrimental effects on ecosystems and food chains. All sorts of toxins can coat the plastics, which are then eaten by tiny fish and other organisms which are then eaten by bigger fish etc. These nasty toxins get passed down the food chain and eventually end up being consumed by us. So… if you are a selfish soul and don’t think you care about the fish, oceans or planet, it really is in your best interest anyway to reduce your plastic waste as much as possible, as you don’t know what you might get in your system from your next meal 🙂 . . . . . #microplastics #microplasticpollution #conservation #marinebiology #cornwall
A recent study regarding the effect of microplastics on marine organisms show that this particular pollution problem results in certain marine organisms, like snails, growing at a slower rate. “Microplastics exposure could be detrimental to marine organisms especially under high concentrations,” says Abby Lo Hau Kwan, PhD student at the Division of Life Science, HKUST, and co-author of the study.
So what to do about glitter in particular? Banning it completely would certainly mean a lot less razzle-dazzle in our kids’ art projects, but luckily there are other options that will make both them and marine life happy: eco-glitter!
By using alternative solutions to microplastics like eco-glitter, we can all be part of making a huge difference to the environment. So, parents, go ahead and grab some — what you use today, you’ll find in the deepest crevices of the carpet for years to come.