Sparkly dread freckles known as “glitter” have polluted our rugs and rugs world for too long. In addition to making a mess, they’re very likely a disaster for the environment. Even scientists are now calling for glitter’s reign of terror to finally end.
According to Dr. Trisia Farrelly, an environmentalist at Massey University in New Zealand, glitter is much more insidious than its wholesome crafty image might have you believe.
“I think all glitter should be banned, because it’s microplastic,” she told The Independent.
Weather monitoring agency NOAA defines microplastics as plastic debris “less than five millimeters in length.” They’re prevalent in lotions, and like, every Bath and Body Works product from the early 2000s.
The problem is, the plastic debris is so small it can pass through water filtration systems and wind up in bodies of water, such as lakes. Animals in those bodies of water may then eat the plastic, mistaking it for food. This can seriously damage fishes’ livers and deleteriously affect their behavioral functions.
A 2013 study led by Richard Thompson at the University of Plymouth revealed some form of plastic was found in one third of fish caught in the English Channel. Recently, Thompson — whose been studying microplastics for nearly 20 years — told The Independent that he’s become increasingly worried about glitter’s potential impact on marine environments.
“I was quite concerned when somebody bought my daughters some shower gel that had glitter particles in it,” Thompson said. “That stuff is going to escape down the plughole and potentially enter the environment,” he said.
The one major caveat here is that there haven’t been studies that focus on glitter — only microplastics as a whole. It’s not unreasonable to assume that fish could get sick from eating glitter, just like they would when consuming other microplastics, but more research on the matter needs to be conducted for definitive answers.
Still, we’ll take any excuse to rid the world of the evil that is glitter. Bye bye, sparkly garbage.