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Should We Consider a Glitter Ban? How the Tiny Sparkles Cause Big Problems

Should We Consider a Glitter Ban? How the Tiny Sparkles Cause Big Problems

Most parents know that when you open that bottle of glitter, your house will be covered in sparkles for years to come. But the decorative sparkly glitter that our kids insist on and we use in our daily cosmetics may not be all that good for the environment. Scientists refer to the stuff as micro-plastics and apparently it is so bad for the environment that some experts want it banned.

The Independent reports about the call for a glitter ban in the UK and why the tiny sparkly stuff is causing such a stir. It’s actually the small size of glitter that makes it such an ecological danger. Anything under 5mm and made of plastic is considered a micro-plastic. The small size makes it very easy for marine animals from plankton to whales to consume in large quantities.

Marine animals have been known to die off from eating plastic and those that survive may end up on our dinner plates. A study led by Professor Richard Thompson reports that one third of fish caught in the UK contain plastic.

The problem of glitter may sound small when you think of it as just an arts and crafts tool, but scientists warn that it’s actually being used more widely than we realize. Environmental anthropologist at Massey University, Dr. Trish Farrely, explains how glitter is used in more products than we think. She says, “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.”

Products that pose the most serious ecological risk are cosmetic items and body washes that rinse off and go right down the drain. These are primarily the items that would be affected under a proposed ban. There is also a more eco-friendly alernative that some companies are employing by making glitter that breaks down more easily. The cosmetics chain Lush has already made the switch to a more environmentally form of glitter.

What do you think of the proposed ban on micro-plastics like glitter?

Do you think we should consider this type of ban in the U.S.?

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  • Heathers2980 By Heathers2980
    12.08.17  

    Love glitter in makeup close to Christmas.

  • mama04 By mama04
    12.08.17  

    Gliter makes my colors stand out

  • Shanaisrad80 By Shanaisrad80
    12.09.17  

    Ever since that Giant sea slug whale ate my camera on a "Whale Watch" trip in 1990, I have made it my life duty to hate whales. Now I am going to insist on only buying glitterized make-up ! MUAHAHA! Take that Sea Slugs!

  • Tammy97229 By Tammy97229
    12.29.17  

    I would love to see a ban on micro-plastics! There is a environmentally friendly option it should be used!

  • Badassmama1026 By Badassmama1026
    01.05.18  

    I'm not sure I love to use glitter on my eyes and it never hurt me

  • ChassyMarie89 By ChassyMarie89
    01.15.18  

    I find this interesting but I love glitter. Is my love for glitter worth hurting the environment? No.

  • Shespeaks54 By Shespeaks54
    01.19.18  

    I like using glitter for arts and crafts. I. Believe that glitter should be banned from the United States also if it can kill our marine life.

  • denovot By denovot
    01.26.18  

    What I can't stand is glitter in skincare products. Such as the "Glowjob" mask from Too Faced or Glamglow. These products give the impression the glitter is giving you glowing skin, when it's simply a novelty, has ZERO skincare benefits, and is terrible for the environment. Why can't ALL the companies who want to use glitter, use an environmentally safe form? (cough::profits)

  • msbliss By msbliss
    04.05.18  

    Very interesting, when this subject comes up the first thing that pops into my head is water bottles, grocery bags,... etc. which I have given up about 80%. Never would I have thought my beautiful little sparkly particles would be an issue, but it makes sense. I'm all for eco-friendly glitter! I'd be sad to see a glitter ban but when it comes down to it id rather saves our ocean and marine life restored!

  • Momof3801 By Momof3801
    04.09.18  

    ive always wondered about that. i also question the fake eyelashes that have magnetic in them.

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