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Tops Day Nurseries, a chain of childcare centers in the UK, has announced that it is forgoing glitter in order to help the oceans. This decision might seem a bit random, but it is actually a massive win for the environment because glitter is really just tiny specks of plastic.

Phasing out glitter was not the first eco-friendly decision made by Tops Day Nurseries. The centers have already banned plastic straws, balloons, and aprons, TreeHugger reports. The chain has also installed solar panels as well as executed food waste collection!

Even though it is undeniably fun and makes life a little bit more sparkly, glitter is made from plastic and aluminum bonded with polyethylene terephthalate (PET) – a mixture which immediately makes it sound less fun. Moreover, today, the plastic sparkles are not only used in crafts and in children’s products but also in cosmetics, notably makeup items like nail polishes and eye shadows.

Just like microbeads, glitter often finds its way into waterways as it is too small to get filtered out by water treatment facilities. Once in the oceans, glitter gets mistaken for food by fish and can easily accumulate in their stomachs, release toxins, and lead to blockages.

A nursery’s decision to get rid of glitter and balloons may seem to some like depriving the kids of fun – but, in reality, it’s a great opportunity to teach children about the downstream impacts of the things they use every day! And the sooner we learn that things we buy can come at a cost that is much higher to the environment, the better!

To learn more about how you can make a difference by using less plastics in your everyday life, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!

Image source: schuetz-mediendesign/Pixabay

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19 comments on “This Chain of Childcare Centers Banned Glitter, Balloon, and Plastic Straws for the Best Possible Reason”

Click to add comment
Tami Lynn
3 Months Ago


Dottie O Holton
3 Months Ago

Applaud all their efforts! Great reporting/article! Now the USA needs to catch up as usual...

Shana Deon
3 Months Ago

How about banning the parents of the kids who voted for tRump? That appears to be even worse for the planet.

Melissa Milligan
25 Nov 2017


Sue Burletson
3 Months Ago

Great idea

Genee Schock
3 Months Ago

Hello biodegradable glitter, been using it for ages

Lori Elson Scott
3 Months Ago

Awesome! Teaching kids to be caring and selfless is a valuable lesson.

Beatriz Betin
3 Months Ago


Stephanie Selznick
3 Months Ago

We need to do this in the US

Rachael Jones
3 Months Ago

I heard of this, their is non pollution glitter and straws available that's wrong they should of look for other options as well as people should look at vegan options but some don't just criticise

Jessica Brown
3 Months Ago

Alexandra Simpson


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