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Not Everything That Glitters is Food: Scientists Want to Ban Glitter

The shiny stuff made a comeback in the fashion world, but scientists are warning against its use. While most find it cute and fun, glitter is actually poisoning the planet.



Just when glitter makes a comeback in the fashion world, scientists say we should ban it. Glitter is on the rise; people are dying their hair with it and sprinkling it on their cheekbones. Not to mention, the strange viral challenge that involves pouring multiple boxes of glitter in the bathtub.  The shiny stuff is cute but at the same time a danger to the environment. Scientists explain that glitter is dangerous for several reasons.

Not Everything That Glitters is Food: Scientists Want to Ban Glitter

Glitter seems harmless as it is shiny, cute and almost weightless, but when it accumulates, it becomes a problem for the ocean. In 2014, researchers estimated that 5.25 trillion tons of plastic accumulated in the seas across the globe. What’s even more shocking about their findings is that 92.4% of this floating plastic waste is an accumulation of microplastics, like glitter! The glitter in the bath-tub challenge is one way to pollute water, but most of the time micro plastics make their way into the ocean by accident. A light breeze alone can carry glitter up into the air and drop it down into the ocean. 

Ever find yourself distracted by someones enormous engagement ring? The same thing is happening to fish. Marine life is getting confused by the alluring shimmer. Fish confuse glitter for food. Because of the appearance of it, fish are more attracted to glitter than the natural substances providing them with nutrients. Not everything that glitters is food! While marine life suffers the consequences of eating plastic, the results are felt on dry land as well.

If you’re not touched by the fact that fish are eating plastic, just wait till you hear how micro plastic ends up in your own belly. Fish eat plastic; people eat fish. This means that people’s negligence with plastics leads to human consumption of the stuff. 

Not Everything That Glitters is Food: Scientists Want to Ban Glitter

This is all due to the fact that people were too careless to throw their plastic bottles in the trash. No, plastic bottles are not micro, but over time they break down into tiny little pieces. It’s a whole vicious cycle.

The efforts to live in a more environmentally friendly world are on the rise. Preschools got the message and cleared the art closets of all glitter supply. Hopefully, word will spread and people will stop with the glitter, even if its trendy.