Ban glitter, says scientists.
In the past year we have seen a ban on microbeads used in cosmetics due to their impact on the environment and it looks like glitter might be going the same way.
Glitter as a fashion accessory has gained popularity in recent years, it is nearly impossible to open a fashion magazine without seeing masses of the stuff.
But scientists are warning that the vast amounts of the stuff that we are getting through is doing untold damage to the environment.
Anyone who has even doused themselves in glitter for a fancy dress party will tell you just how long it takes to get every last remnant from your body and anything you touched, think of this but on a massive scale – a worldwide scale.
Glitter is made form tiny pieces of PET plastic and aluminum. When broken down, PET release harmful toxins and chemicals which disrupt the hormones in animals, playing havoc with their important internal systems, it has also been linked with neurological problems and even some cancers.
When glitter is washed off it goes down your drainpipe and usually ends up in the seas.
Microbeads have caused such huge problems for the world’s oceans, there are giant floating ‘islands’ made of the stuff, and it looks like soon we will be seeing glitter islands too.
The fast that glitter is so tiny – even smaller than microbeads means it is easier for it to work its way into unwanted places – eco-systems and even inside the bodies of fish and other sea life, causing them serious damage.
One study has estimated that sea creatures ingest up to 11,000 pieces of microplastic a year, think about this the next time your are planning a fancy dress outfit and don’t reach for the glitter.
Dr Trisia Farrelly, an environmental anthropologist at Massey University has said :
“When people think about glitter they think of party and dress-up glitter,”
“I’m sick and tired of consumers being help responsible for trying to avoid this stuff. I mean it’s literally impossible to,” and “Producers need to be responsible. They need to use safer, non-toxic, durable alternatives.”
H/T Return To Now