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How Glitter Is Affecting Our Oceans: A Not So Sparkly Future

Glitter’s negative impact on our oceans and marine life.

Glitter's negative impact on our oceans and marine life.

It may look pretty but glitter is having a major impact on our oceans, which has lead to scientists calling for a ban on the pretty product.

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Just a year after microbeads were banned from cosmetic products in Britain, glitter is now being targeted due to the impact it has on increasing pollution in the world’s oceans and seas.

The microplastic material is toxic and if swallowed by marine life, can be deadly. The dangerous effects of glitter in our oceans can also lead to contamination of the whole food chain and as it cannot be broken down using natural methods, the glitter remains in the stomachs of fish and other marine animals. This not only causes them harm but in addition can put our own health at risk if we eat the fish.

And there are other health risks associated with glitter too. The onset of cancers and neurological diseases are linked to hormone-disrupting chemicals, which can be released by the aluminium and PET plastic used to make most glitter.

One person calling for a world wide ban on glitter is Dr Trisia Farrelly from Massey University in New Zealand. She explains however that there may be a solution out there but this lies in the hands of the producers and not the consumers of glitter.

“Producers need to be responsible. They need to use safer, non-toxic, durable alternatives.” as reported on

And maybe the message is getting through, the popular cosmetics brand Lush have already switched to using glitter in their products that is biodegradable.

But more does need to be done. By the year 2050 there is expected to be more plastic than fish in our oceans with an estimated 1.124 million tonnes being the issue.

And it’s not just pollution in our oceans that needs a solution, take a look at how other countries are tackling air pollution.

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