After Trapfest earlier this year, my girlfriend has effectively been banned from using my bathroom to get ready for festivals and raves only for one reason, glitter.
As many of us know glitter gets literally everywhere and can be a pain to clean up often lugging around for weeks. Now with just two girls getting ready in my small bathroom I was cleaning up glitter sparkles for probably a week, can you imagine what that is like scaled up to a festival?
Primarily this problem isn’t even about the cosmetic cleanup and more about the impact that it has on ecological systems and local food chains. Glitter is in a group of microplastics that is anything smaller than 5 millimeters in size and is often considered one of the biggest health risks to our ecosystem. These microplastics can gather waste and contamination on them which includes pathogens and bacteria.
The most common place we find contaminated microplastics is in shellfish, fish and most aquatic dwelling animals. Shellfish can collect up to 11,000 microplastics a year which is an absurd amount. The problem doesn’t stop with shellfish, when we or any other animal eats these shellfish we too digest the microplastics and all of their toxins and pathogens.
While scientists are working on figuring out long term health implications of microplastics its not looking good. So please ladies, we aren’t asking you to stop looking fantastic and going all out, but maybe just ease up on the flutter every now and them.