Ladies… and gentlemen… it’s time we have a serious talk about our glitter. While the colorful sparkles of happiness can bring some shine to cosmetics, hairstyles, and party accessories, from highlighters down to toenail polish, everyone must know the harsh reality of where this glitter could end up.
Even after the music has stopped and the show is over, that glitter is lingering, and clinging to anything it comes in contact with. Even days later when it’s not seen by the naked eye, it never truly goes away.
The truth is, glitter doesn’t have such a sparkling effect on the environment and the living beings in it. As part of the large family of microplastics, these tiny little fragments can literally end up anywhere — even into oceans and lakes. Glitter can cause all sorts of health and environmental hazards, especially as it accumulates over time.
To get scientific about it, microplastics like cosmetic glitter, made by bonding aluminum with polyethylene terephthalate (PET), can impact sensitive ecosystems. For example, when consumed by marine life, microplastics can cause adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological and immune effects.
In a recent study cited by EcoWatch, the reproduction of oysters was found to be directly affected by microplatics. Maybe that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but just think of the implications it could have up the food chain.
It’s the same reason why near Shambhala Music Festival’s Salmo River there stands a sign telling attendees to keep glitter out of the water. As much as it pains me to say it, we need to chill on the glitter.
Social anthropologist Trisia Farrelly asserts, “[Microplastics] really do get into everything, and despite their tiny size, they can have a devastating impact on humans and non-human animals.” Another study describes the particles as being “ubiquitous in the air, water, the seafood we eat, the beer we drink, the salt we use — plastics are just everywhere.”
As a glitter lover myself, this revelation is a harsh reality that must be faced. But ditching the glitter for the sake of protecting animals and ourselves only makes sense.
That doesn’t mean we have to give up the look, but change our ways. Some eco-friendly brands have been introducing biodegradable glitter that’s made for any raver who wants to stay environmentally conscious. Check out BioGlitz as an example.
Learn more about “Why Glitter Should Be Banned” via EcoWatch here.