Surely everyone knows about glitter, the annoying plastic substance that makes things shiny and sparkly. What most might not know however, is that glitter is made up of plastic, and due to its size is considered a microplastic. Essentially, this means that the plastic is so small it might as well be unrecognizable as a plastic substance. Now, while this may not seem like such a bad thing at first glance, the problem occurs not in the fact that glitter exists but in the issue of what it is being put into.
Due to the harmful nature of glitter and other microplastics like it, scientists researching the subject have called for a global government ordered ban on these substances. The main issue, these scientists have found, is that these microplastics are being filtered out into the environment and killing animals. Aquatic animals such as fish are particularly in danger, as hygienic products such as shampoo can often contain glitter or other microplastic materials. When the fish see these objects, often shiny and attractive to the eye, they proceed to ingest them thinking they are food. This obviously isn’t so good for the fish (or other animals for that matter) and will usually end up killing it/them.
These environmental scientists believe that this issue is entirely widespread, as some British researchers claim a third of all fish caught in the country contain plastics within them. Considering the scary numbers behind their research, it’s no surprise they are fearful of what kind of damage these microplastics are doing to our global environment. If everyone is using products containing glitter or microbeads, it is reasonable to believe that these tiny particles might likely escape filtration entirely and enter the environment. The worst part is that damage might have already been done.
If one considers the fact that there is already a deep saturation of these potentially dangerous plastics in the environment, then they must also wonder if this problem is even able to be reversed. Apparently this is why the ban is in place, so that this problem can eventually stop happening. However, if we do not act now then this could become even worse than just one third of the fish. These bans would call for the government to prevent the use of these glitter-ridden materials as well as the microbeads found within hygienic products. Hopefully lawmakers act soon, or we may be the next species to have such a deep saturation of these microplastics.