Glitters are spreading fast. Nowadays they are found in products such as nail polish, hairspray, shampoo and suntan lotion. Then there are the party-glitters that you put on your face. It all seems harmless and nice, but it is not. Glitters are predominantly made of plastic, often a combination of aluminium and PET. They are flushed away with the shower water and easily end up in the environment.
In recent years, the sale of all glitter products has grown tremendously worldwide. Most users don’t realize that glitters are bits of plastic and that using them contributes to the plastic soup. Social media such as Instagram are believed to be partly responsible for the growth because people share photos and imitate each other. See for example this page with glitter on tongues.
While the presence of microplastics in care products has been amply discussed in recent years, glitters seem to have been ignored. The attention was focused primarily on banning microplastics with a scrub function. When legislation prohibits only those plastic scrub particles, glitters and other microplastics are beyond that scope.
Last year English scientists called for a ban on glitter.
Maria Westerbos, Director of the Plastic Soup Foundation: “Think twice about wearing glitters the coming holidays, and if you still want to, ask explicitly for glitters that are not made of plastic.”