Why Is Biodegradable Glitter Bad?

Saying that "biodegradable glitter is bad" sounds much like an oxymoron or a paradox. How something that claims to be "biodegradable" could end up hurting our planet? It doesn't seem right. However, it turns out totally and unfortunately true when "fake" biodegradable glitters come into play!

Glitter is present in our everyday life. We use it to add a sparkly touch to make-up, body paint, arts and crafts, and clothing. However, though seemingly tiny and harmless, this shiny fellow is playing its part in the pollution of our oceans.

Indeed, regular glitter is essentially plastic. So, to keep up with the latest eco-trends, there has been a surge of natural alternatives that claim to be biodegradable, allegedly posing zero threat to marine sea life.

However, this situation has paved the way to fake biodegradable glitters simply lying about their eco-credentials. Hence, there has been a huge misconception about biodegradable glitter being essentially useless and everything but eco-friendly. 

But rest assured because you won't have to give up glitter for good. You just have to choose the real ecoglitter, aka Bioglitter, and keep shining while saving the planet! 

Why Do We Need Biodegradable Glitter? 

Traditional glitter is essentially plastic in the form of polyester PET or PLA film coated with aluminum or glass. It also has components considered toxic for humans and the environment, like aluminum, titanium dioxide, and iron oxide. And due to its size (smaller than 5 millimeters), glitter is considered a microplastic.  

The problem with plastic-based glitter is that it is pretty much unrecyclable from the get-go. When thrown away into the garbage or getting washed off your body, it ends up scattered all over the oceans, adding to the microplastic pollution.

Therefore, you can find microplastics everywhere, including waterways, landfills, sea salt, domestic compost, and even drinking water. Actually, micro-plastics can also be found in our food. Almost 25% of caught fish destined for human consumption contain microplastics in their guts.

When regular glitter hits the ocean, its brightness gets the attention of marine sea life, including fishes, seabirds, and even plankton. Animals may consume these plastics and eventually die from starvation. Hence, glitter can have a significant impact on marine ecosystems.

However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Once microplastics get to the ocean, they become almost impossible to trace, so that they remain polluting the planet for centuries!

The truth is that plastic glitter is a disposable, single-use product. Also, its size makes it impossible to separate from the rest of the garbage. It is not like a plastic bottle that will disintegrate into tiny particles over time.

In fact, we would need special industrial machinery to decompose or recycle it, requiring lots of wasted water and energy. On top of that, microplastics create highly toxic smoke when burned.

And even though glitter accounts for less than 1 percent of the microplastics that pollute the environment, we are sure you don't want to add to that burden or carry that in your green-conscious, especially when you could be doing something about it.

For that reason, many alternatives to plastic glitter are popping up to diminish microplastics pollution in our oceans. Because at this point, it doesn't seem like a matter of "if" but "when" glitter might get banned.

Along with other types of single-use microplastics, there has been a public outcry to remove or decrease the use of regular plastic glitter with the introduction of eco-friendly options. 

This is especially true after skincare products with plastic microbeads were done away back in 2015. Additionally, sixty festivals in the UK announced they would use biodegradable glitter instead of regular glitter by 2021. 

However, you might get a little confused with so many ecoglitters available in the market.

Bioglitter™ Can Help You Help the Planet

Bioglitter uses a special form of cellulose derived from eucalyptus hardwoods instead of a plastic core. The materials are sourced from certified plantations in line with PEFC standards.

Our Bioglitter is the only glitter in the world proven to biodegrade under natural conditions. It degrades just as a leaf would in nature under four weeks, turning into harmless particles like water, biomass, and carbon dioxide as soon as it touches the ground.

However, rest assured because Bioglitter™ will not dissolve or decomposed when sheltered in its container. It needs bacteria, water, oxygen, and high temperatures to start the biodegradation process. 

To be considered naturally biodegradable in any environment, a glitter must pass the so-called freshwater test. And we are happy to tell you that our Bioglitter proudly holds this eco-credential.

Bioglitter holds the 'OK biodegradable WATER' certification by TÜV Austria. This is the highest level of third-party certification for freshwater biodegradability in the whole world.

Bioglitter is naturally biodegradable and is safe to use in arts and crafts, cosmetics, and body art. Also, it is Verified Microplastic Free by EU, ECHA Microplastic Proposal (Jan 2019).

Bioglitter has also won:

  • The 'Green and Sustainability' category at PCHI Fountain Awards 2019 in China.

  • Gold for 'innovation' at In-Cosmetics Global two years in a row: 2017 in London and 2018 in Amsterdam.

For that reason, Bioglitter stands out as the No. 1 biodegradable glitter in the world that is a natural alternative to standard plastic glitter. 

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Is Bioglitter™ 100% Plastic-Free?

What makes Bioglitter the one and only ecoglitter on the market is that:

  • Bioglitter™ Sparkle is 92% plastic-free, and it is every bit as shiny as regular polyester glitter. 

  • Bioglitter™ Pure is COMPLETELY plastic-free, setting a high standard in the glitter market. It can achieve 87% of biodegradation in 4 weeks!

A true ecoglitter should be 100% free of plastic or pretty close to it. Otherwise, it won't do anything to diminish microplastic pollution. The main goal is to replace standard plastic glitter with biodegradable glitter.

Bioglitter also is:

  • CMR free. It is safe for humans.

  • Allergen-free. It doesn't contain allergens declared by the FDA.

  • GMO-free. No genetic engineering is involved.

  • Cruelty-free. Neither the product nor its ingredients are tested on animals.

  • Non-toxic, and it doesn't contain aluminum or other heavy metals.

 Our ecoglitter has many uses, just like regular glitter, including arts and crafts, but with added benefits because it also qualifies as a cosmetic grade glitter. 

Indeed, Bioglitter™ has a 40% softer feel on the skin, and it is FDA-approved to use on the skin, lips, and near the eyes. So, you can recreate beautiful make-up looks without the fear of hurting the planet.

Bioglitter complies with:

  • Industrial Chemicals. Act 1998 and Cosmetic Standards

  • European Cosmetic Regulation: 1221

  • Hygienic Standard for Cosmetics

  • Korean Cosmetic Products Act 

Replacing Plastic Glitter with Ecoglitter

We know that you are a true spark lover, and you won't forgo glitter anytime soon. Nevertheless, you can make an eco-friendly choice and go with Bioglitter™ instead.

But before taking a step toward biodegradable options, you must be able to set apart the real ecoglitter from the fake glitters available in the market. 

A genuine eco-friendly glitter refers to glitter that doesn't pollute the environment. Its degradation process occurs under natural conditions, without the need for additional processes that may contaminate water, land, or air. 

It should naturally decompose in contact with compost, soil, freshwater, and wastewater environments. But, how can you know you are getting the real deal? Did you know that many products marketed as biodegradable are anything but eco-friendly?

Some of the environmentally friendly alternatives to regular glitter that are being falsely advertised as "biodegradable" are:

  • Cellophane-based glitter.

  • PLA glitter: LA (polylactic acid) is a type of plastic that needs a composting infrastructure to break down. Otherwise, it can remain unchanged for centuries.

  • Cellulose acetate glitter, which is the same ingredient used to create cigarette butts.

  • Compostable glitter.

Compostable glitter is usually marketed as biodegradable glitter, but it is far from that. Compostable glitter needs special conditions to biodegrade. Hence, compostable glitter is not NATURALLY biodegradable! 

It requires special composting facilities with high temperatures, tons of energy, and water to complete its degradation. 

Unfortunately, this can't be replicated in nature, making compostable glitter basically impossible to recycle, just like regular plastic glitter. Hence, compostable glitter is essentially useless!

This misconception is very dangerous because, as a consumer, you may feel at ease when putting your glitter in the bin after use or flushing it down the toilet. In your mind, the planet will be unharmed, and you won't be contributing to the planet's pollution. 

However, your intentions could turn into the complete opposite if you don't make the right choice. The key is to be degradable under natural conditions, just like Bioglitter!

But bear in mind that claiming to be "biodegradable" is not enough. The glitter company must prove their product really biodegrades under natural conditions to guarantee that you are getting an actual ecoglitter.

So, for glitter to be considered naturally biodegradable, it should meet these requirements:

  • The glitter must pass the freshwater test (just like our Bioglitter™ does).

  • The glitter company must show the results of the testing to prove its biodegradability. Eco-credentials are essential! Otherwise, they might be trying to greenwash you into believing their product is eco-friendly. 

  • It must be naturally biodegradable, meaning under natural conditions.

So, Is Biodegradable Glitter Bad?

A few scientific studies claim both plastic-based and so-called "biodegradable glitters" can have a huge ecological impact on ecosystems, right down to the base of the food chain.

Actually, a study published in October 2020 in the Journal of Hazardous Materials reported that both biodegradable glitter and regular glitter could cause environmental damage to practically the same degree.

 However, NONE OF THESE STUDIES USED BIOGLITTER PRODUCTS! They tested falsely advertised "biodegradable glitters "or non-biodegradable mineral-based and synthetic mica options.

Our Bioglitter™ is biodegradable under natural conditions and has all the eco-credentials to prove it! So, always choose Bioglitter™ over "fake biodegradable glitters." After all, FAKE biodegradable glitter is bad. Bioglitter™ is not!

So now you know, the Bioglitter products are real ecoglitters that can help the environment. And here at Today Glitter are proud to be the exclusive retail seller of Bioglitter in the US. Any product you choose is certified to biodegrade in any environment naturally! So you can keep shining without polluting the planet with microplastics. 

Bioglitter Sparkle & Bioglitter Pure

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