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Is Glitter Bad for the Environment?

Is Glitter Bad for the Environment?

“Mummy, does glitter have magic?”, asked my soon to be 5-year-old.

As my daughter and I were planning for her upcoming quarantine birthday, all she wanted was a shimmery rainbow color theme for her cake, dress, balloons, confetti and everything birthday. Not to forget the guest list for the virtual zoom party.   

Kids, really know how to party, don’t they? In fact, I believe they are perpetually dancing in their head. 

So, as I sat down to pen the list, I unconsciously wore my conscious-lens while my heart still argued – Drop it, after all its your little one’s birthday and haven’t we all grown up blowing birthday balloons and sparkling confetti.

Should I really be worried about it? A tiny bit yes. Yes, enough to put an environmental stress lump in the gut and leave anyone feeling like you are forced to choose between the things we’ve grown to love and the future of our planet. 

Let me tell you, why?

Glitter is mostly made from PET plastic and aluminum. It is found largely in cosmetics, automobile paints, clothes, decorative material, stationery supplies and so on.

It’s “end-of-life” is either gloriously lying on the sludge, landfill or finding their way into the ocean through waterways. Shimmery objects and microbeads look like plankton and eggs to the hungry fish and they end up eating it.

While there have not been large hazardous claims against it as of now, the fear of glitter has gained attention of many environmentalists and activists as climate change and ocean pollution have become larger international issues.

So, I read up on the alternatives I found out about #biodegradable glitter which I will try this time. Because making confetti with colorful leaves and paper cuttings is less likely to go well with my little girl. But the presents will definitely be wrapped in hand-painted newspapers. #Thatssomebit.

Also, we donate toys to the less privileged, specifically on this day. For we just love their smiles and the ones that they bring on our faces.

More for later.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

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