Glitter, a highly reflective material used for decorating purposes, is facing strong opposition from scientists and environmentalists. Scientists have warned that if glitters are not banned, it will result in extreme environmental consequences. They argue that glitters, although looking nice to eyes, are not good for oceanic environments. They are made up of tiny pieces of shiny plastic know as microplastic, that are less than five millimetres in length. These microplastics are very hazardous for ocean world because their tiny size makes it easy for them to get mixed with ocean water.
Once they enter the oceanic environment, there is high chance that aquatic animals will consume them because they are unaware of the fact that microplastics are hazardous for their health. The main problem with microplastics is they are very tiny, and they won’t degrade. The National Oceanic Survey said, “Plastic is the most prevalent type of marine debris found in our ocean and Great Lakes and that it comes in different shapes and sizes. But only those measuring less than 5 millimetres are considered as microplastics.”
People of U.K. are very worried about these tiny microplastics and want that it should be immediately banned for the safety of oceanic environments.
Dr Trisia Farrelly of New Zealand’s Massey University said that when people think of think of party and dress-up glitter but glitter also includes cosmetic glitters as well, the more everyday kind that people do not think about much. Farrelly further said that all glitter should be banned because they are microplastics. Richard Thompson, a professor at Plymouth University, conducted a comprehensive study on glitter microplastics and their impact on the marine environment. He found out that a third of fish caught in England possessed tiny plastic particles. “I was quite concerned when somebody bought my daughters some shower gel that had glitter particles in it. That stuff is going to escape down the plughole and potentially enter the environment”, explained Thompson.
Scientists say microplastics posses critical environmental hazards mostly in oceans as they leach chemicals into the water which more vulnerable to be ingested by marine life. Another type of tiny plastic known as microbeads are also very dangerous and have been banned from cosmetics and personal care products in the US for many years. The UK is also going to pass a bill regarding the banning of microbeads. Scientists and environmentalists want that after banning microbeads, the UK government should think of banning glitter.
Microplastics are mostly found in personal care products, and people use widely for decoration purposes. But glitter fans need not have to worry. There are many eco-friendly glitters available on the market that are biodegradable, and one can easily remove them from his/her body or face.