She was hoping to wear some for her Halloween party. Mathilde, 18, learned on social networks of the gradual ban on the sale of free glitter from October 16. “I’m going to cry!” she exclaimed when discovering this video of a user who filmed her drawers filled with colorful pots and indicated in an ironic tone that these were now “outlaw” products. The Dijon student regularly applies these small shimmering pastilles to her eyes and cheeks to enhance her evening makeup. It has even become an unmissable meeting with her friends: they get together to prepare together before each party. “It makes us happy to have bright faces!”, she enthuses.
Glitter is popular all over the world. In Germany, the news even caused a rush of customers into stores, looking for the last bottles available. However, the European Commission’s decision is not an impulse. The ban, adopted on September 25, is part of “zero pollution” which aims to reduce microplastic pollution by 30% by 2030. If glitter is a festive symbol, it also contains plastic particles less than five millimeters in size called microparticles. Their removal from the market constitutes a strong signal for Maylis Efremenko, member of the Wings of the Ocean association, whose action focuses on the fight against plastic pollution. “These products may seem harmless and yet, once used, they escape into nature because it is impossible to recover them. They are then found in the oceans, transported by wind or water runoff or passing through through the mesh of wastewater filtration systems,” she explains.
Pollution invisible to the naked eye – unlike bulky plastics – but far from minimal with 24,400 billion microplastic particles which, according to a scientific study, float on the surface of our oceans. But glitter isn’t the only culprit. Other cosmetic or household products made from microplastics – detergents and fabric softeners – and plant protection products are also expected to be banned in the coming years by the European Commission. “This measure pushes manufacturers to turn to eco-responsible materials,” emphasizes Maylis Efremenko. In the glitter section, some brands already offer biodegradable alternatives. A relief for young Mathilde. Even if she has taken a step back since the announcement of this ban after having learned about the effects, she is not unhappy knowing that she will still be able to have fun… and sparkle at the next party. ‘Halloween.