Biodegradable glitter vol. 2 – For the sparkly environmentalist in you
I tested biodegradable glitter vs. conventional glitter. This is my verdict.
Boy, that was some party! I’m just waking up from it. I won’t bore you with the details about the six fire spinners, the aerial art, the Cow Girl Burlesque act, or the glitter ass slap, cause I’m sure you don’t care about any of that.
Instead, let’s dive right into the very scientific test of biodegradable glitter (Read about the test setup here).
Decomposing in tap water
I never got around to test this. Mainly because I was home very late and was very tired. Woops. So yeah, I still have to do that. I guess there will be a third post about glitter.
On your body
Short recap first. If you have ever been in contact with glitter, you know that cleanup sucks big time. You cannot get that sparkly herpes off you.
If you’ve ever done burlesque, a glitter party, pride, or just a badass new year, you know perfectly well that you will find glitter everywhere on your body.
You will find glitter places you don’t want to admit you’ve found glitter. It’s tyranny and always has been …Until now [Warning profanities might occur].
Oh my fucking god!
It came off! It just came off! I washed my face with tap water when I came home, and my sparkly face just melted away!!!
I have NEVER in my life tried anything like it. Whatever glitter that was still left the next morning, disappeared when I took a shower. This is a picture of a very tired me, before and after dealing with glitter, at 3 am.
In terms of body clean up, biodegradable glitter is APPROVED!
Well, I for one can hardly get my hands down. My floor is clean. No glitter! Well, almost no glitter.
On any given day you will most likely find sparkly bits in my apartment. I think there’s a stockpile from the years and years of glitter related events. I got some glitter on my boots, but it rubbed off pretty easily.
When tested against conventional glitter, biodegradable glitter kicks ass! It’s good for the environment and it’s easier to clean up. Win-win!
However, there are a few things which worry me
There is still something I want to address regarding the bio-glitter.
The founders of bio-glitter told me this about the shine of it:
The shiny part of the glitter comes from a thin layer of aluminum which is in itself not biodegradable, but because of the small amount it is, according to European regulations, degradable.
I’m all down for European standards, but this part still bothers me. A thin layer of aluminum is still aluminum. It might not harm you, or larger animals, but it will still be consumed by smaller animals.
These animals will then again be consumed by larger animals, transporting the potentially accumulated aluminum to the larger animals, which will then again be consumed by even larger animals, adding even more aluminum via the food chain.
This is called bioaccumulation.
It is still unclear if the bioaccumulation of aluminum is harmful to animals or humans. This article suggests that accumulation of aluminum is related to a number of disease states, particularly those relating to oxidative stress.
What to do – High, medium, or low impact
The major issue with conventional glitter is still the microplastic pollution it generates.
As with all things you purchase, make sure that small pieces don’t fall off it, and buy good quality. Here are a few steps you can take to end plastic pollution.
Low impact: Switch to biodegradable glitter. I do not say to toss out all your existing glitter, but use it with care. When you remove glitter nail polish, make sure not to flush excess glitter down the drain, but instead throw it in the trash.
Medium impact: Donate money to one of the organizations working towards banning microplastic, or spread the word on social media
High impact: Get involved in the political organizations that work to ban microbeads and raise awareness of microfibers.
Ps: If you love glitter nail polish, like I do, remember you can make your own with biodegradable glitter. Buy some eco glitter, and clear nail polish, and mix. Voila! Ready for the next party!
Get The Newsletter!
SomethingGreen writes about how green professionals can spread sustainable vibes, and how to live a greener life.
If you want to learn how to get grandma to recycle, or your dad to eat less meat, subscribe to our newsletter!