Some brands and companies have started to take action in the past couple of years. In 2018, 61 British music festivals said they would ban attendees from wearing glitter, and cosmetics brand Lush replaced glitter in bath products with biodegradable substitutes. Some supermarkets like Waitrose and Aldi also committed to removing glitter from their products.
Mica was a potential glitter alternative, which is a natural occurring mineral that shimmers. But it was soon found out that the majority of mica came from illegal Indian mines that were using child labor. As a result, Lush came up with a synthetic mica, which the company claims is not harmful to the environment.
Farrelly said it often comes down to consumers choosing more environmentally friendly products, but it can be impossible if the changes don't come from the companies.
"Producers need to be responsible," she said. "They need to use safer, non-toxic, durable alternatives."
The campaign group 38 Degrees has just launched a petition addressed to UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove, which calls for a total ban of glitter in the UK. The letter references a study that found a third of fish caught in the North Sea contained micro-plastic particles.
"We have no idea what long term effects micro-plastic will have on us, our children or the other animals and plants that share our planet," the letter says. "This is a very disturbing thought. Next time you eat something, what will you think?"
It adds that banning these microplastics in the UK would be a step in the right direction, and would send a clear message to other countries that it's a global concern.
"I think we need to do everything we can to stop using any plastics that can pollute the environment," it says. "We need to do this as soon as possible, before it's too late and everything gets contaminated.
Source: dsay Dodgson for Insider