I *love* glitter. And not in a like … ”oh, glitter is cool and I’ll wear it on a special occasion” type of way. I mean, like any time I do my makeup I will unapologetically add some glitter because life is too short and glitter is fabulous.
Except for the fact that it’s harming the environment. It might seem like those tiny little flecks couldn’t possibly harm anything, but when you wash your face, they end up polluting the waterways like rivers and lakes. And since glitter is typically made of plastic, these tiny particles are stuck in waterways for decades.
I thought I’d found a way around this conundrum by taking a tip from my favorite drag queens and removing my glitter eye makeup with tape and then throwing it away. But something still doesn’t sit right with me about using a makeup product that could potentially sit in a landfill for years and years on end. Is it really worth it?
I sadly assumed that my glitter wearing days were over—that is, until I discovered that biodegradable glitter exists. I was scrolling through my Instagram one day and saw the ad and audibly gasped (Instagram ads know me better than I do myself, tbh). So I set out to do some research on just what biodegradable glitter is and if it lives up to the hype. Read on to find out my findings!
What Is Regular Glitter Made Out of?
Regular, standard glitter is made out of tiny pieces of microplastic—or specifically tiny pieces of plastic film, coated in more plastic. When this glitter ends up in the waterways, it ends up causing two major problems: It kills off fish and other wildlife, and also increases the amount of carbon dioxide that gets released into the atmosphere. Not good at all.
So What Is Biodegradable Glitter Made Out of?
Most companies make their biodegradable glitter out of eucalyptus or bamboo pulp. However, biodegradable glitter has a bit of a controversy attached to it.
Biodegradable glitter is just one of the many products that’s been subjected to “greenwashing,” aka, making something sound like it’s great for the environment, but it’s actually really not. The claim “biodegradable” isn’t regulated, so basically, any company or brand can simply label their products with the term without the product actually being biodegradable.
This comes into play where companies make their products from a natural ingredient like bamboo or eucalyptus, but still coat the glitter in a form of shiny plastic that actually isn’t biodegradable at all.
Where Can I Find Actual Biodegradable Glitter?
If you’re on the hunt for an actual 100 percent certified biodegradable glitter, I suggest Bioglitter. It’s the brand I saw advertised on Instagram, and it’s one of the few, if not the only, companies that makes glitter made from 100 percent eucalyptus cellulose core, even down to the coating. According to BHG.com, “In the testing process, Bioglitter’s Pure Red 008 reached 92% biodegradation after only 28 days—meaning that after a month or two, discarded Bioglitter has almost zero environmental impact.”
How do you feel about glitter? Let me know in the comments!