There are few things in life that manage to irritate
everyone, make you spend hours trying to tidy it up, only to then somehow end
up elsewhere in your home. Yet so many people love it. Clearly I’m talking
about glitter. Those little specks of plastic that ruin a perfectly good day.
There are so many reasons I hate them.
Firstly, glitter never seems to stay within the confines you
want it to, acting like a gas as it expands to fill your entire living room,
then kitchen, then slowly starts to creep upstairs until the whole house is
filled with those exasperating shiny dots. Glitter spreads so fast due to its ability
to stick harder than super glue to any surface you name. I recon it could even
stick to Teflon. I don’t think ‘stick’ shows the true extent of glitter’s true
ability to be embedded into an object. I’ve had to claw my skin off in an
attempt to remove a singular piece of glitter.
It was my brothers birthday recently, and one of the cards he
received had some pink glitter on it, don’t ask me why. I was not foolish
enough to touch this card as I knew the terrible consequences of possibly having
to amputate my infected body parts afterwards would not be pleasant to me, yet
what did I see the night after his birthday, on my forehead as I was brushing
my teeth? A singular piece of the pink glitter! I decided it must be from the
card, as pink glitter isn’t a common substance in my house. I was trying to
think of a way it managed to get on me, but then I realised that of course it
would be on me, its glitter, and glitter defies the laws of physics. You can’t
hide from glitter. And you can’t hide glitter either
Glitter is too conspicuous for something that is only 0.2mm
in diameter. It catches your eye when you see a speck of it on someone’s face, then
the games begin, as you can only see it in the right light. Point it out to
someone and they panic, but this panic means they move, but then it’s impossible
to then re find it as the light has changed. This makes it very difficult to
I feel like glitter manages to reproduce, and at an
extortionate rate. A little sprinkle of glitter on a card? That’s the entire
street you live on, and the bus to school, and probably most of the school will
now be covered in glitter from that card. There is no way that that much
glitter can cover a huge amount of area. Therefore it must create more of
itself. I believe it has the ability to multiply just by touching it, as if it
somehow turns your cells into more of its kind.
Another annoying quality of glitter that you can’t tidy it
up, and if you try, then I can guarantee that the brush you use will become
contaminated, and only worsen the problem, as it will now spread the glitter
around your floors. But not only will it take over your house, it will stay
there forever. As glitter is an aluminium co-polymer, which basically means it
is made of plastic and trace amounts of aluminium, and the plastic will never
fully break down. This makes glitter not only an irritating substance, but also
a danger to the environment.
Due to its size, glitter is referred to as a microplastic.
Microplastics are very quickly becoming the most damaging substance to the
worlds marine life, as rain often carries glitter down to the sea, where it is
then mistaken for food by many marine creatures. One study found that over a
third of whole fish on market shelves had microplastic in them. So clearly,
fish aren’t the only ones affected, we are too, as we can consume the harmful
plastics when we eat fish. The polymer used in glitter, P.E.T, has been linked
to cancer causing chemicals.
So what can you do? Luckily for you, I was not the only one
to see the devastating effects of glitter, and many companies, such as Lush,
have switched to an alternative to glitter, called mica. Mica is a synthetic
material which decomposes rapidly and releases no toxins, making it
environmentally safe. The government has proposed to ban all microplastics in
the near future.