A new study has shown that ‘eco glitter’ marketed as a better option for the environment is likely as bad for rivers and lakes as standard glitter.
Glitter has recently gotten a bad name as a micro-plastic that contributes to pollution and is damaging ecosystems as it washes off our faces and into rivers, lakes and seas.
To replace this harmful substance, a whole market for biodegradable glitter has emerged. However, many have not looked into how exactly this glitter is made and whether it is better because its biodegradable.
Researchers at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in Cambridge ran tests on ordinary glitter and glitter that claimed to be biodegradable.
‘Glitter is a ready-made microplastic that’s generally present in our houses and, significantly by means of cosmetics, is washed off in our sinks and into the water system,’ said Dr Dannielle Green, a senior lecturer in biology at ARU told The Guardian.
‘Our study is the first to look at the effects of glitter in a freshwater environment and we found that both conventional and alternative glitters can have a serious ecological impact on aquatic ecosystems within a short period of time.’
The study found that the glitter had an effect on root size and chlorophyll ranges, much like standard glitter.