A sustainable beauty-led story highlighting the joy of using eco-friendly biodegradable glitter

In 2020, we’re more conscious than ever of how our beauty regimes can impact the environment, from the rise of eco-friendly packaging, reef-friendly products, reusables and refillables to the banning of microbeads. Now, the spotlight is on a shinier culprit: glitter.

No longer just reserved for the annual festival or New Year’s Eve, glitter has crossed over into everyday wear territory. But there’s only one problem with that – glitter is made from tiny bits of plastic, aka microplastic. While something so small might not seem like as big of a deal as, say, a plastic bag, it all adds up in our waterways.

When it comes to the world’s “massive” pollution problem, Greenpeace says microplastics are “just as devastating” as other forms of plastic, especially in our oceans: “Swallowed by everything from microscopic zooplankton to giant blue whales, they enter the food chain and carry harmful toxins. Microplastics have even been found in human poo.”

While fish can’t do much about mistaking glitter for plankton, we can help – by swapping plastic glitter for a biodegradable version.

Made from plant cellulose (sourced from eucalyptus trees), biodegradable glitter still requires time to break down in a natural environment. However, it is a step in the right direction with the best biodegradable glitters aiming to be 90% degraded in as little as 30 days.

With 90% of adults in the UK concerned about threats to the natural environment, it’s hardly surprising that Google searches for ‘biodegradable body glitter’ have increased by more than 200% in the last year alone.

We put a few different biodegradable glitters to the test (pictured) to see if the shine payoff was the same as plastic glitter and, as you can see, when you make the switch, you won’t be sacrificing any sparkle.

If Glastonbury can say goodbye to glitter litter for good, we can too. After all, we want to leave a lasting impression on the dance floor, not on the environment.