Sparkling sustainable eco glitter
The festive season is the sparkliest time of the year, but did you know that glitter is harmful to the environment? Most glitter is made up of tiny bits of plastic that find their way into rivers, lakes and seas, but eco glitter is a much more ethical option.
Glitter is very harmful when it’s used in make-up because it is rinsed down the plughole on removal. Sparkles on clothing can seep into waterways when washed too and the glitter on cards and paper can take thousands of years to break down.
This doesn’t mean you have to give up the Christmas sparkle, you can opt for eco glitter instead. Biodegradable eco glitter is made with plant-based plastics, which means it breaks down much faster and doesn’t pollute the environment.
Beware when buying these products though, because not all biodegradable products are equal. Some are technically biodegradable but need to be placed in industrial-strength composting units in order to break down. If we dispose of them naturally, they still damage the environment.
There are many eco glitters on the market, but BioGlitter is the only one that is independently certified to break down in the natural environment. It is used by many brands, including EcoStardust, who make gorgeous face glitter, Hobbycraft, who produce fabulous arts and crafts, and Snazaroo’s face paints. The Mermaid Cave also sell a wide range of goodies containing BioGlitter and WHSmith use it in some of their wrapping paper.
Of course, you should still use this glitter mindfully and never put it in “reindeer food”, the mix of cereal and glitter that some people leave out for Santa’s reindeers. The glitter might be biodegradable, but it still takes some time to break down and can pose a risk to wildlife.
When wearing make-up with eco glitter in it, don’t wash it down the sink, use tissue or environmentally friendly face wipes instead. Reusable face clothes are usually best for removing make-up, but here that would result in glitter making its way down the drains during washing. It’s best to place the face wipes into council composting schemes because garden compost bins don’t tend to get hot enough to break them down.
If you like sequinned and glittery clothes, look for second-hand items that don’t prooduce new plastic and wash them with a Guppy Friend, which will stop the microplastics seeping into the waterways. The Guppy Friend can be used with second-hand and recycled polyester clothing too.
Featured main picture by EcoStardust. Bioglitter Sparkle by EcoStardust