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