Should We Ban Glitter?

Hi Friends! One of my favorite craft supplies has come under scrutiny lately and it has lead me to dig deeper into the environmental impact that my crafting can have on the world. You can agree or disagree with me. I am open to polite discussion on this topic. Watch the video to see what I think and feel free to leave your opinion in the comments below this post.

Why might glitter be an environmental problem? Traditional glitter, along with sequins and embossing powder (and other small plastic things that measure less than 5mm long) are microplastics. Microplastics have been found in the ocean and in the bellies (potentially leaching chemicals) into the fish. Sometimes fish and birds can die of starvation when they eat plastic debris as it sits in their belly and takes up the room of real food. Microbeads (the little plastic beads used in facial scrubs) have been banned as they wash right down the drain when used as intended. Some scientists are calling for glitter to be banned next.

Resource: National Geographic

I don’t think out crafting glitter is the real issue as we are not applying it to our bodies and then rinsing it off. We typically use a small amount and affix it to a project with glue. Many of your projects like Christmas ornaments and Scrapbooks are heirloom projects and unlikely to be thrown away but even the greeting card destined for the landfill eventually isn’t that big of a problem in my opinion. I think the good of crafting a handmade card and sending it to a friend outweighs a bit of plastic glitter in the landfill. Besides, if we all through away out glitter bottles today where will they go…the landfill as they can’t be recycled.

Glitter is a staple craft supply, unlike many products we buy to craft with. I am still using glitter I purchased decades ago and it is still as sparkly as ever. You only need a little bit for a big impact. Other craft products can be very trendy and the leftovers get tossed unused because the fad is over. Glitter isn’t like that. My opinion is to keep using the glitter you have for your adult crafts. If you are working with kids or creating outdoors (maybe you are glittering Christmas decorations outside) you can switch to an eco-friendly biodegradable glitter like the Hemway ones I compared in the video. They come in large quantities so they would be suitable for this and are comparable in price to standard glitter. If you are a new crafter and want to avoid plastic glitter from the start (note: I do not think it is better for the environment to throw away your bottles of glitter and go out and buy eco-glitter) you might like this. Or use beautiful German glass glitters. *These are sharp so be careful and not for kids crafts.

We can all craft sustain-ably and it has as much to do with the upstream waste (the waste generated from making out craft materials like water pollution from fabric and paper manufacturing) as it does what we throw away. Purchasing appropriate amounts of supplies and using them up and disposing of our waste in the greenest manor is the best thing to do. If we use common sense we can continue to use our glitter without guilt. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below and til next time happy crafting!

19 thoughts on “Should We Ban Glitter?

  1. One of the problems with using any kind of glitter is the clean up. While crafting, glitter may get on your hands or clothes. Then you wash your hands and your clothes and the glitter goes down the drain. Also when cleaning the surfaces you have worked on, the glitter on the cleaning cloth is often washed down the drain.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Could not agree more. There are a lot more things we can do and it is just just us. Other countries and people’s need to step up. I am working to use my supplies more wisely which many of us need to do. As crafters we try not waste supplies. Thanks for bringing up the subject.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I agree. I believe in up cycling as much as possible. I have glitter in my stash and usually buy it at thrift shops. So wither way I am not adding to the waste. I hardly buy any supplies anymore!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I definitely will be more mindful about glitter. Thanks for the tip on the ECO glitter. I didn’t know about that. I agree with you. I believe in individual education, research and good choices.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. …. and gets EVERYWHERE, also into clothes, hair or onto hands and from there down the drain. I think glitter draws the eye away from whatever else is on cards, all you see is the glitter which is a pity considering how much time(and material) it takes to make a card.
      Have you also noticed how hard it is to find material for Christmas craft or cards that doesn’t contain glitter?
      When Lindsay joked she might as well use sugar instead of “weak” glitter I thought: “Why not use salt?”.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. The glitter issue is something that I had never heard about and therefore never thought about. I was especially thankful to learn about the Hemway biodegradable glitter. I passed your blog onto my daughter as I have a glitter loving granddaughter.

    It seems that we have messed the world up so much more then we could possibly know. I too have glitter paints and will continue to use them, but I’m not certain that I would buy anymore. Maybe they should just stop producing them and sell only the biodegradable glitter.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I have never used glitter because of the mess they make all over my room, floor, clothes, etc. I agree with those who like glitter that using and not buying more makes just as much sense as tossing it out. But I am very conscious of disposing of stuff that ends up in our waterways even more than in our landfills.

    One interesting fact I learned is that sending cards with glitter to our troops overseas is a real no-no as the glitter can identify the soldiers to enemy snipers.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, I just bought my first glitter…great timing! lol I also bought a jar of the glass glitter. The way I see it, the ban needs to start at the manufacturing end. Stop producing and people won’t use it. I only intend to use it for small highlights on cards, so my supply should last a lifetime and I will have the leftovers put in the bag they cremate me in. Let them start with the commercial mass users of glitter for manufacturing their holiday products, etc…then move on to the nail salons. I hope the glitter police don’t arrest me. : )

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I agree with you. For goodness sake they should be more concerned with the plastic bottles and rings than tiny little pieces of glitter. 🤦‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Every (little) thing helps! I will no longer buy glitter and use up what I have. I will look into the bio-glitter though. But there are other issues that have a bigger impact if we stop using them. Like the plastic grocery bags that are used here in America! I used to live in Holland and more than 12 years ago many stores started to ban the free plastic bags. They offer reusable shopping bags for a small amount. The reusable shopping bags are very helpful and the impact on the environment is great. It is a good thing America is starting with that and I think that the end of those plastic bags is near. Another big impact will be the return of the glass bottles. Yes, it is heavier but the bottles can be reused or the glass of the bottles can be reused for new bottles. Recycling is important and I think there are many more things we need to be able to dispose of in a better, separate way: glass, batteries, paint, chemicals, metal items, all kinds of plastic, paper, etc. etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I hadn’t thought that glitter was made of plastic but for the small amount I use, it’s not a problem for me. What is a problem however, is the wrapping that our craft products come in. I throw away so many cellophane bags that everything seems to come in,it’s such a pity. I try to reuse them say for a palette for paint but I’m really conscious of how many there are. As for micro plastics by far more concerning I think is the tiny plastic balls that are put into body scrubs that wash straight down the drain. Don’t use those,

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I think all future glitter should be biodegradable. Otherwise let’s use our Stickles with pride as it does adhere and not leave lose glitter to litter. I criticise the card manufactuors who are selling pricey cards where the glitter is not properly adhered. All the cards I receive and I see loose glitter on the outside are opened still in the envelope and inside a plastic bag and that’s where they stay. Some are very expensive.

    When I was doing cards for soldiers, I learned that glitter can be dangerous in a war situation. It can show up a soldier in the dark and when night vision goggles are used. The soldier may be totally unaware that a loving card sent to him might put him in danger. Stickles was allowed because the glitter is imbedded in dried glue.

    I also at that time became a glitter free house. It is a mess to try and clean up.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I used glitter making Christmas ornaments ten years ago and it got all over the place. For weeks and months I was vacuuming it up. So I gathered up all my glitter and tossed it, murmuring good riddance, and I never looked back! BTW…there are still little flecks here and there stuck in the carpet.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I think the glitter we already have may as well be used rather than throwing it all away. I agree, if we all did that it would be much worse than using what little we do use on our cards or projects. If buying new glitter then you can be aware that there is an environmentally safe glitter and buy it. But in the meantime, don’t throw out your old glitter! You’d be adding to the problem!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder if it hurts PETS, especially cats. They might get it onto their paws or fur and lick it off. I banned glitter when I had babies ages ago because I was afraid they’d get it onto themselves and rub it into their little eyes. No matter how much I vacumm-cleaned the floor bits were still caught in the carpet and my babies used to crawl around all day. Cards with glitter on them became a nightmare for me then.

      If the stuff would STAY on cards it would be a entirely different matter altogether!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I do see your point however even if we only use it on decorations etc it still gets on our hands and then down the sink which is why I would like to see it banned along with single use plastics but at the end of the day that is just my opinion

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