Close  
  • share this

Scientists call for ban on glitter, citing harm on marine wildlife

/ 06:17 PM December 04, 2017
glitter, christmas balls, christmas decor

INQUIRER.net stock photo

If you’re decorating for the holidays, lay off the glitter: the material is the latest on everyday items that are slowly destroying the planet.

The shiny arts and crafts material is a “microplastic,” usually made of aluminum and PET.

ADVERTISEMENT

Dr. Trisia Farrelly, an environmental anthropologist at New Zealand’s Massey University, cites that when broken down, PET releases chemicals which affect animals’ and humans’ hormones.

A study found that among fish caught in the United Kingdom, a third had consumed plastics. Glitter’s small size attracts marine life to it.

FEATURED STORIES

Professor Richard Thompson, a top marine scientist who conducted the U.K. study, told The Independent, “I was quite concerned when somebody bought my daughters some shower gel that had glitter particles in it.”

“That stuff is going to escape down the plughole and potentially enter the environment,” he warned.

Scientists have also raised the alarm on microbeads, the shiny particles found in cosmetic products.

Microbeads found in products are set to be banned in British nurseries by 2018. Seven states in the United States have banned it, starting with California in 2015.

Onus on producers, governments

If you love your shiny products, there’s hope: biodegradable glitter is in the market.

Lush, a cruelty-free cosmetics brand has been using a synthetic version.

ADVERTISEMENT

Farrelly is adamant that companies must initiate the shift to non-plastic products, or at least ensure that the plastic they use is recyclable.

She stated that consumers are becoming “more environmentally and justice-aware and are calling for more honest, transparent labelling. They want to know what’s in their products and where they come from.”

“Governments too, need to play their role in ensuring producers are more responsible,” she added.

“Plastic production has increased 20-fold over the last 50 years so a very conservative eight million tons of plastics are estimated to enter the world’s oceans every year, which eventually break down into microplastics,” said Farrelly.

She warns that without action, by 2050, plastic will outnumber fish by weight in oceans around the world. Niña V. Guno/JB

RELATED STORIES:

Greenpeace: PH is third worst plastic polluter of ocean

Jericho Rosales ‘distressed’ with trash in PH beach: ‘Don’t throw things in the ocean’

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: glitter, microplastic, PET plastic, Plastic, Pollution
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.



© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.