Biodegradable eco friendly glitter - The facts
IF IT'S HOLO IT AIN'T ECO
Sorry to break it to you.
If your glitter comes in the shape of a heart.
It is your heart that will truely be broken.
Real biodegradable glitter only comes in a hexagonal shape.
So no stars, moons, circles or hearts.
Sad to say, holographic glitters will not break down in a natural environment.
Holographic glitter is made from PET plastic or PLA Polylactic Acid.
IT'S A FACT ......... if your glitter is not hexagonal it will not break down in nature.
The so called 'compostable' glitter is made from Polylacatic Acid it may meet the industrial composting standards. However will not break down totally in a natural environment. It is not ocean safe, although it may be made from plants. Your holo heart and star shaped glitter will definitely leave a trace when you leave it behind.
Manufacturers claim holographic compostable glitter will degrade. However this can only be done in an industrial composter. NOT IN A NATURAL ENVIRONMENT.
EVEN IF THEY SAY IT'S PLANT BASED.
If it contains Polylactic Acid (PLA) it will not break down in a natural environment.
PLA is a thermoplastic polyester bio-polymer. It is produced by the chemical conversion of genetically modified corn into dextrose, the dextrose is then fermented to lactic acid, which is then polymerised into polylactic acid, PLA for short.
Bio-plastics such as PLA WILL NOT biodegrade in the natural environment, they need the man-made conditions (elevated temperatures and extremely high humidity) found in industrial composting processes.
It’s our view that there is a significantly higher probability for glitter to be found in general waste, wastewater, fresh water and in the outdoor environment after use. Therefore, the route to industrial composting via the recycling compost bin, a possible solution for packaging waste, is highly unlikely with glitter due to its physical size and how it is used.
Lots of independently documented information can be found on the internet that explains the disappointing realities of PLA’s inability to biodegrade in the natural environment, this link to a UN report offers good insight.
So how can you spot the difference between actual biodegradable glitter and glitter claiming to be biodegradable or "ECO FRIENDLY"
STILL NOT SURE - TEST IT
Try this it's a VERY BASIC SCREENING TEST to determine if your glitter is microplastic or MAINLY BASED on PLASTIC, such as PET, PVC, PLA or Cellulose Acetate (not biodegradable in natural environments, IE Microplastic).
If the glitter melts it is mainly based on plastic and is a microplastic. However, this test CANNOT BE USED TO DETERMINE IF a product is 100% PLASTIC FREE or NOT MICROPLASTIC.
To prove a glitter is NOT A Microplastic requires more complex evaluation involving passing environmental biodegradability standards such as ISO14851 Fresh Water Biodegradation, the level of testing we subject our Bioglitter products to. The ‘ECHA Mircroplastic Proposal, Jan 2019’ defines what constitutes a product is a microplastic or not.
Method for basic heating or burning test:-
Heat or burn the glitter product. If it melts and sticks to the surface it’s on, the glitter mainly contains plastic. We find it's easiest to put the glitter on a sheet of aluminium foil and heat with a naked flame from beneath.
Always ask your supplier to provide scientific proof of biodegradability in the natural environment and that a product is not made from plastic. Don’t be mislead by basic composting biodegradation testing, this is NOT proof that a product will biodegrade in the natural environment. PLA and Cellulose Acetate compost, but, do not biodegrade in the natural environment. Therefore, if PLA or Cellulose are used to make a glitter, the glitter will be a microplastic and environmental pollutant.
Glitter companies selling 'compostable glitter' made from corn Polylactic Acid (PLA) say don't worry your local wastewater treatment plant will break it down. THIS IS MISSLEADING
Please don't assume your glitter will be treated at a wastewater treatment facility. In Australia our storm water drains lead right into our waterways so if it falls off outdoors this is where it will end up.
FOR BIODEGRADABLE GLITTER THAT BREAKS DOWN IN NATURE
THAT WILL NOT HARM MARINE LIFE IF DIGESTED
GUARANTEED BIODEGRADATION IN A NATURAL FRESH WATER ENVIRONMENT
GET YOUR ECO FRIENDLY GLITTER FROM
THE GLITTER TRIBE
HAVE MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT BIO GLITTER ?
Thanks to Ronald Britton the creators of Bioglitter® and Glitterevoloution for images in this blog post