(CBS Local) — Arts and crafts enthusiasts have known for years that glitter tends to attach itself everywhere and never seems to come off. Scientists now say that the sticky decorations are also an ecological hazard that needs to be banned across the globe.
Environmental scientists are arguing that the risk of pollution, specifically to the oceans, is too great to ignore and the tiny plastic particles need to be outlawed. “I think all glitter should be banned, because it’s microplastic,” Dr. Trisia Farrelly of New Zealand’s Massey University said, via the Independent.
Microplastics are defined as plastics which are less than five millimeters in length. The small size of the craft supply reportedly makes them appealing for many animals, who eat the dangerous objects. A study by Professor Richard Thompson claimed that plastics were found in a third of all fish caught in Great Britain.
“I was quite concerned when somebody bought my daughters some shower gel that had glitter particles in it,” Thompson said. “That stuff is going to escape down the plughole and potentially enter the environment.”
Some British nurseries have already banned the products from their facilities as the country is expected to officially ban items which contain microbeads in 2018. “There are 22,000 nurseries in the country, so if we’re all getting through kilos and kilos of glitter, we’re doing terrible damage,” director of Tops Day Nurseries Cheryl Hadland told the BBC.
In the U.S., only seven states have passed legislation to restrict the use and sale of microbeads in products like facial scrubs and body washes. California became the first to place a ban on the products in 2015.