Glitter describes an assortment of small, colourful, reflective particles that comes in a variety of shapes. The first production of modern plastic glitter is credited to the American machinist Henry Ruschmann, who found a way to cut plastic or mylar sheets into glitter in 1934.
To a single, childless person, glitter is the glitz in your eyeshadow, the accent on your custom stationery, the glamour in your Saturday night cocktail dress. To parents, glitter is the chickenpox of the art world, leaving a rash of microscopic gleaming shards all over your home, the interior of your car, the front lawn, a favorite sweater, and your literal face. It looks pretty, but it’s the bane of parental existence. Now, scientists are calling for a ban on this official art supply of Satan, and all I have to say is, when do we start?
Glitter is equal parts loved and loathed for its ability to stick to basically anything and that’s exactly why some scientists are raising the alarm.
Glitter is apparently what’s known as a microplastic, a plastic that is less than 5 millimeters in length and poses serious risks to animals and the environment. Dr. Trisia Farrelly of New Zealand’s Massey University 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 … I think all glitter should be banned, because it’s microplastic.”
But if the environment isn’t enough to convince you, let’s talk about how every mom looks like this after craft time with the kids.
Sure, you just made a beautiful, gleaming holiday card and enough memories to fill your Instagram feed. But what about the microscopic metallic memories left on our faces that we’ll never ever be able to scrub away? What about the glitter our toddlers accidentally spill on the kitchen table that will still be there long after humans have been wiped out by an asteroid? We could ban it, parents. Glitter-free existence 2018.
Before you freak out, there are sparkly alternatives you can use instead of standard glitter.
Several companies online advertise eco-friendly, biodegradable glitter that can be used instead. After all, what’s a world without sparkles?
And, honestly, glitter probably isn’t going anywhere.
I mean, it’s everywhere. And we don’t have any designated glitter police to enforce said ban.
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