12 Aug

Does covering yourself in glitter show you’re a bad person?

We’ve all seen it. People of all ages caking themselves in glitter to cover up the previous nights sins.

As time goes on there seems to be more sensational ways to cover ourselves in glitter. It started with makeup, then dusted into hair and then the one nobody can forget. The glitter beard… Glitter is even used as a magical weapon delivered via a letter bomb to annoy our enemies.

It’s become a massive craze with businesses making a living from covering party goers in glitter. It’s such an distinctive way to dress yourself up and like magpies, we love anything shiny. Its always been this way, for thousands of years, we have worshipped golden trinkets and jewels. Apparently, its evolutionary instinct to look out for shimmering bodies of water. It all seems so harmless.

But does this craze have further devastating implications?

While looking fabulous will last a day the plastic can last a lifetime. (well actually it lasts at least 450 years). So whats the harm? Glitter is classed as a microplastic, bits of plastic that measure less than 5mm. You may have seen microplastics being removed from beauty products, most noticeably face scrubs, that why you won’t find those little exfoliating beads in them anymore.

Microplastics. Whats the issue?

When washed off the tiny bits of ‘magical’ plastic find their way into our oceans. It’s bad news for almost everything that calls earth home. These particles of plastic are incredibly hard to prevent from ending up in our oceans and according to 1millionwomen, there’s 8 million tonnes of plastic ending up in the ocean every day – the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic every minute… Every minute.

Microplastic is one of the worst kinds of plastic and accounts for 85% of plastic found in the environment. The size of microplastics allows them to be ingested by the small organisms, and this is posing huge problems for aquatic life and consequently, us. Through being ingested by the start of the food chain they filter up in larger and larger quantities. Fish that have been caught for human consumption are increasingly being found with plastic in them. Studies suggest fish are choosing to eat the plastic and it’s killing them before they are able to reach sexual maturity. This is all bad news and shows how we are impacting the planet we call home.

Now we’re not really saying you are a bad person if you use glitter but you really should look at the long term effects such simple choices can have. If you’re going to look at turning yourself into a unicorn think about  biodegradable glitter. Ecostardust.com have a huge selection and a great approach to sustainability.

Please let us know your thoughts below. Have you used glitter before? Did you know the long term effects?

Update 08/09/2017

So recent research has shown that micro-plastics have been found in sea salt.  Americans could be ingesting upwards of 660 particles of plastic each year, if they follow health officials’ advice to eat 2.3 grammes of salt per day. However, most Americans could be ingesting far more, as health officials believe 90% of Americans eat too much salt. This suggests we could be ingesting plastics daily. A worrying thought.

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