What Is Glitter Made of? Switch To Bioglitter™

Although you may be focusing on making things shiny and beautiful, you should also wonder what glitter is made of. Beyond everything, all that glitter is not gold, which couldn’t be more true when it comes to glitter. In fact, there is a dark side to regular glitter you may be unaware of. So, you should seriously consider choosing an eco-friendly, natural glitter option as Bioglitter instead!

As humans, we are drawn to shiny things. That’s why glitter has endured the pass of time. From ancient times, Neanderthals used sparkly crushed minerals or mica over their cave paintings. 

Nowadays, glitter has turned into an ever-present dazzling frost that adorns holiday cards, clothing, handmade crafts, and sophisticated makeup looks. But it is time to put regular glitter under the microscope and reveal some nasty details behind all the spark and shine.

You thought you knew glitter, but we are going to prove you wrong. After reading this, you may think twice when using “old school glitter” and go for biodegradable, natural glitter instead. 

What Is Glitter Made of?

Yes, in case you didn't know, regular glitter is essentially plastic. Most glitter is made out of a combination of aluminum and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Also, some craft glitters are made from metal and glass.

Modern glitter was invented in 1934 in New Jersey by an American cattle rancher/machinist named Henry Ruschmann. He designed a machine, kind of a combination of a paper shredder and a wood chipper, that was able to grind plastic into glitter. 

Eventually, the raw material evolved into a clear polyester film or sheet layered with coloring and reflective material using a rotary knife cutting system or shaped press.

Aluminum is the material that makes glitter reflective, aka sparkle. And the process by which aluminum is deposited on both sides of the film is called metallization. Afterward, these sheets are cut into the preferred size, fine as dust or chunkier like confetti. 

The difference between cosmetic and craft glitter is that the former is likely cut in circular shapes to avoid damaging the skin. Conversely, craft glitter usually has sharp angles and comes in bigger sizes. 

What Happens to Glitter When the Party's Over?

With most glitter being made from etched aluminum bonded to polyethylene terephthalate (PET), it translates into a million tiny bits of plastic scattered all over landfills and the oceans. Not a pretty picture!

Indeed, because each particle is less than five millimeters long, plastic glitter falls under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s definition of microplastic.

The problem with microplastic is that they make a huge impact on marine ecosystems, even causing sea birds to choke to death. Additionally, this problem won’t be solved anytime soon, considering that the plastic film from which most glitter is made takes about 1,000 years to biodegrade completely.

While there is not irrefutable scientific evidence on glitter being bad for the environment, studies on glitter would likely show similar results to those on other microplastics. Not for nothing, in 2015, President Obama signed an act banning plastic microbeads from rinse-off cosmetics. 

The bottom line is that regular plastic glitter is a non-recyclable and a single-use product. To date, it is virtually impossible to separate from the rest of the garbage or effectively filter from wastewater. 

So, even though we know that glitter is far from the biggest environmental challenge we are yet to face, it contributes to the ever-growing microplastic pollution problem and should no longer be overlooked. So, the next logical thing to do would be to stop using it, right?

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Plastic Vs. Cellulose

For many glitter lovers, finding out that glitter is made of plastic can be truly heartbreaking. But you don’t have to give away your spark. You just have to choose a guilt-free, natural glitter that is biodegradable and eco-friendly! 

Bioglitter is the brand name of the world’s first plastic-free and certified naturally biodegradable glitter. It replaces the core polyester film with a unique plant cellulose film, primarily from eucalyptus of certified plantations that comply with PEFC standards. 

We use sustainable and responsibly sourced materials. Indeed, eucalyptus trees are one of the fastest-growing trees there are.

Bioglitter™ is an authentic biodegradable product in freshwater and complies with regulations and certificates like:

  • “OK Biodegradable WATER” certification by TÜV.

  • Verified Microplastic Free by ECHA.

After entering the natural environment, Bioglitter™ turns into carbon dioxide, water, and biomass with the help of oxygen, heat, and microorganisms. That is the main difference between Bioglitter™ and compostable or PLA glitter, which claim to be biodegradable. It doesn’t need special conditions or composting facilities!

Which Bioglitter™ To Choose?

Bioglitter has three collections available for different uses. All of them are eco-friendly and safe for human health. These are Bioglitter™ PURE, Bioglitter™ SPARKLE, and Bioglitter™ DECO. 

Bioglitter™ PURE

This is the world’s first 100% plastic-free glitter, and it decomposes under natural conditions, leaving no traces behind. Bioglitter Pure takes 28 days to reach 92% of biodegradation. 

Bioglitter™ Pure is perfect for cosmetics and skincare products. Also, it is 40% softer than mainstream (plastic) glittermaking it a favorite to use on makeup and create astonishing glitter looks!

Bioglitter™ SPARKLE

Bioglitter Sparkle was the first product created by Bioglitter. It was launched in 2016 in response to the growing microplastics pollution.

Bioglitter Sparkle is the brightest glitter in the Bioglitter™ family, also based on plant materials. It is 97% plastic-free.

This product was the first glitter in the world proven to have an outstanding high performance in natural, freshwater biodegradation testing, with only 3% behind from meeting the OK Biodegradable WATER criteria certification. 

Bioglitter Sparkle is considered cosmetic grade glitter, making it super comfortable on the skin with its silky effect. Additionally, it is also antimony-free, shinier than Bioglitter™ Pure, and indistinguishable from polyester glitter. 

Just as the rest of the Bioglitter™ products, it is suitable for vegans, allergen-free, and GMOs-free.

Bioglitter™ DECO

Bioglitter™ Deco is the technical grade Bioglitter™, specially designed for coating, arts and crafts, and printing applications. It is not suitable for cosmetics, though. 

Bioglitter™ Deco achieves 87% of biodegradation in 4 weeks.

All of Bioglitter™ products have won awards for their innovation and its cooperation with the environment:

  • Gold for ‘innovation’ at In-Cosmetics Global 2017 (Sparkle) in London, and 2018 in Amsterdam (PURE). Two consecutive years!
  • The ‘Green and Sustainability’ category at the PCHI Fountain Awards 2019 in China. (PURE and Sparkle).

Now that you know what conventional plastic glitter is made of, you can do the right thing for the planet and take plastic glitter out of your life for good! Choose among our different options for cosmetics and decoration. Bioglitter products are eco-friendly without compromising performance or spark!

Bioglitter Sparkle & Bioglitter Pure

1 comment

  • Good information I will pass it on

    Sandra Harry-Bey

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