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Scientists Say Glitter Poses Major Environmental Hazard, Call for Global Ban

Scientists Say Glitter Poses Major Environmental Hazard, Call for Global Ban

“All that glitters is not gold,” including actual glitter. But that’s not because the annoying shiny stuff is impossible to ever clean up, it poses a serious environmental hazard to our oceans and sea life. That’s why some scientists are calling for a global ban of it, especially in cosmetic products.

Environmental anthropologist Dr. Trisia Farrelly told The Independent that glitter can cause harm to our oceans because it’s a type of microplastic, which are especially destructive as they accumulate in the world’s bodies of water. The National Ocean Service says “plastic is the most prevalent type of marine debris found in our ocean and Great Lakes,” and defines microplastics as any plastics that “are less than five millimeters in length.” That why it’s easier for them to make their way through drains, ultimately resulting in their consumption by fish and other sea animals. Most glitter is made of aluminum and a type of plastic that releases a harmful chemical to both fish (and therefore humans who might eat those fish that microplastics aggregate in) when it breaks down.

Environmental hazard is why microbeads, another type of microplastic, were banned from cosmetics and personal care products in the U.S. in 2015, and why a similar law will go into effect in the UK next year. But scientists say glitter should be the next microplastic to go, because their prevalence in numerous items, including many cosmetics that end up being washed away, are potentially just as bad.

Although this doesn’t have to be the end for glitter entirely, because instead of plastic it could be made from a biodegradable material. Not only would that be great for the environment, it would mean that stupid little speck we can’t get rid of on our face would eventually disappear. That would be a golden solution to all our glitter problems.

What do you think? Should glitter be banned entirely? What about just from cosmetics? Share your thoughts in our comments section below.

Featured Image: An Knook

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