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Scientists Warn a Certain Festive Trend May Sparkle Environmental Threats

Scientists Warn a Certain Festive Trend May Sparkle Environmental Threats

December 3, 2017

Based on our plastic sampling research, at least 165 million plastic particles are floating in NY-NJ Harbor Estuary waters at any given time – 85% being smaller than the size of a grain of rice. But what about the even smaller particles?

Enter glitter. This time of year, the sparkly stuff makes an entrance in must-have eyeshadows and other festive cosmetic products. As you may have guessed it by now, glitter is made with plastic.

Glitter that is incorporated in any rinse-of product travels down the drain and can be eventually discharged into our waterways, contributing to plastic pollution and threatening aquatic ecosystems. Dr Trisia Farrelly, a researcher at Massey University in New Zealand warns that glitter can break down to hormonal disruptors in the environment.

The fact that scientists are advocating for a ban of plastic glitter in our personal care products is reminiscent of our fight to ban plastic microbeads in toothpastes and scrubs. We must hold our personal care product manufacturers accountable and demand healthier and environmentally friendly products. Contact your elected officials today and demand a ban of plastic glitter in our cosmetic products today!

Until a policy action is implemented, avoid purchasing products with glitter if you unsure if they are made from plastic. For a safe sparkly makeup alternative, try Lush. The cosmetics chain has replaced glitter with biodegradable alternatives.

Samantha Kreisler and Sandra Meola