Since this eco-friendly alternatives to glitter article was written in 2017, new research has come to light. It has been found that eco-glitter is as damaging to the environment as standard glitter. Therefore it is something I no longer recommend. Please see here for more information.
Today let’s talk about eco-friendly alternatives to glitter.
I don’t know about you, but I had been trying to keep my head in the sand about the environmental impact of glitter, of all things. Much like tea bags, I didn’t want to believe that something so fun and seemingly innocuous as glitter could be harbouring a dark secret.
Why A Ban On Glitter?
However, it is indeed true: scientists are calling for a ban on glitter. Why? Most glitter is microplastic – fragments of plastic less than 5mm in length. This microplastic can easily be swallowed by marine life, proving fatal to them, and could potentially enter the food chain.
More worryingly, the same article goes on to say that “most glitter is made of aluminium and a plastic called PET… PET can break down to release chemicals that disrupt hormones in the bodies of animals and humans“. This is not good. Therefore a ban on glitter, much like the ban on microbeads for the same reasons, would be very welcome.
However, this ban would mean a world without glitter. Some nurseries are substituting glitter for lentils or rice for use in craft projects as an eco-friendly alternative. However, it’s not quite the same, is it? Meanwhile sticking lentils to your face at festivals may not produce the desired effect, and may cause people to give you a wide berth!
If you can’t live in a world without glitter, but don’t want to damage the environment then fear not. The future is not lentil based because I have found six eco-friendly glitter alternatives for all your glitter-based cosmetic and crafting needs:
Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Glitter
Bristol-based EcoStarDust, whose clever slogan is “glitter without the litter”, sells biodegradable glitter in all the colours. And when I say all the colours, I mean ALL the colours, in varying sizes from chunky through to fine. Its eco-friendly glitter alternative is made from plant cellulose and is reasonably priced at £3.50 a pot. Delivery is free when you spend over £10 and 10% of profits are donated to environmental projects.
Eco Glitter Fun
Eco Glitter Fun sells biodegradable, cruelty-free, and vegan glitter from £3.50 a pot, again in all the colours and sizes you could possibly need. Its glitter is made from a certified compostable film that Eco Glitter Fun say will biodegrade in soil, compost, or a wastewater/ocean environment.
The UK-based Fulfilled Wishes sell biodegradable glitter via their Etsy shop. Prices are £4 for 5-gram jars, and it specialises in more chunky eco glitter.
The Mermaid Cave
The Mermaid Cave sells a beautiful range of eco-friendly glitter alternatives, with all its glitter named after endangered ocean species.
This is the place to go if you are looking for zero-waste and plastic-free biodegradable glitter as all glitter is sold in glass vials with cork stoppers. All the glitter in its range is vegan-friendly and made from plant-based materials. The Mermaid Cave also says its glitter will biodegrade in soil, compost, wastewater, and ocean water. It’s priced at £5.99 for 8 ml of glitter or £9.99 for 20 ml of glitter.
The Soap Kitchen
The Soap Kitchen specialises in microfine eco-friendly glitter alternatives, in a more limited colour palette. Prices start at £1.50 for 5 g, but you can purchase in bulk bags, in bags of up to 500 g (a whole lot of glitter!) if you need larger quantities. You can also get 5% off your first order when you sign up for The Soap Kitchen newsletter.
Finally, Wild Glitter sells EU-certified biodegradable glitter made from natural compostable plant-based materials. A variety of colours and textures are available, from fine to chunky. Prices are reasonable too – they start from £2.75 for 3 ml and they can be purchased in recyclable pots or refill bags.
If you find any more eco-friendly glitter alternatives then do let me know in the comments below! Alternatively, if you find an altogether different alternative to glitter then I would love to hear!