Scientists warn that glitter is an environmental hazard.
Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:49 am
Glitter seems like a harmless bit of fun, but its environmental impact has led some scientists to call for it to be banned.
Most glitter is made from plastic, and the small size of its particles makes it a potential ecological hazard, particularly in the oceans.
“I think all glitter should be banned, because it’s microplastic,” said Dr Trisia Farrelly, an environmental anthropologist at Massey University.
Microplastics are fragments of plastic less than 5 millimetres in length. Their size makes them an appealing – though dangerous – food item for many animals.
Not only have marine animals from plankton to whales been documented eating plastic, often with fatal consequences, microplastics can end up inside us when we consume seafood. One study led by Professor Richard Thompson reported that plastic was found in a third of UK-caught fish.
Some estimates place the number of microplastics in the world's ocean at up to 51 trillion fragments in total.
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