A glitter-free zone

By Nancy Black

“Where is all this glitter coming from?!?!” I cried out those words to my household members this week as I walked our hallways spying little bits of sparkles randomly appearing at my feet. My dog and cats didn’t answer, but my teenager swears they had nothing to do with it. Must have been Tinkerbell with her fairy dust. Ugh! Glitter. The bane of any parent’s existence.*

Glitter is one of those inventions that must have seemed like the best idea at the time. But, in reality, it has turned into one of the worst ideas of all time. And not just for me. There are actual movements to have glitter banned.

According to Fortune.com, “Glitter is made of a polymer known as Mylar, and its size, normally about a millimeter across, makes it a microplastic.” Microplastics make up 92.4 percent of all the floating plastic in our oceans! Not only that, but when all that glittery, shimmering stuff floats around in the water, it looks like food to the fish and marine life. They eat it. Then we eat them. Then everyone dies. Or at least gets a belly full of microplastics. Yuck. And yikes.

Some schools in the UK have even banned the product because of what they call, “Glitter lung,” which was found in a large number of kindergarten students. “Glitter Bombing” is something people do to their enemies; they smash them with a huge chunk of glitter to cause “total glitterstruction” to someone’s life.

Glitter has no place in my life, and all those who love me know that fact. If someone sends me one of those birthday cards that spills out confetti-like glitter when I open it, I know they must hate me. I can vacuum and scrub to my heart’s content, but I can never, ever get all the glitter gone.

If you must use glitter, at least now there are some environmentally friendly companies developing biodegradable glitter and sprinkles, for both food and non-food use. Did you know that we were never supposed to eat those hard little silver sprinkle balls from all those cupcakes and desserts of our childhood? Me neither! They were never made to be eaten! But now companies are making them edible, thanks to some eco-friendly bakers and inventors.

So, sprinkle away with your glitter, if you must. Just don’t get your fake fairy dust on me. “I believe, I believe, I believe” that Tinkerbell would have wanted it that way.

* Parents like me, who have silly first-world problems. There are far too many parents in our world today who are faced with much more serious problems and plights than I. My heart and prayers go out to them and their children.

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