Over 60 UK festivals have vowed to ban glitter

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Lamya Tilmatine
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Is this new anti-plastic initiative the end of the festival sparkle?

If you’re not picking bits of glitter out of your hairline/eyebrows/every orifice of your body for days after, you basically didn’t even go to a festival. These days, a sweep of highlighter just won’t cut it.

So we were shook to learn that our beloved glitter is now being banned from UK festivals. Across the country, 61 festivals have signed up to a new initiative to ban single-use plastics from festival sites by 2021 - and that includes glitter.

The Drastic On Plastic campaign launched in April this year and aims to ban plastic straws, plates, drink bottles, food trays and toiletry bottles from sites.

Bestival, Shambala and Boomtown are just a few of the festivals that have taken the positive step to champion this initiative.

According to the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), the organisation that set up the initiative, UK festivals currently amass 23,500 tonnes of waste, with visitors consuming 10 million plastic bottles year on year.

Research by the Sea Life Trust shows that scientists estimate that up to 26 million tons of plastic waste ends up in the world’s oceans each year, killing millions of marine creatures. But with haunting scenes of plastic-infested oceans (or ‘trash vortexes’) flooding most of our news screens and social media feeds, more industries are listening to growing concerns over our environment.

Over the last couple of years numerous mainstream beauty companies, including L’Oréal and Unilever, jumped on board in the movement to ban the use of microbeads in shower gels and scrubs.

So the AIF are confident that their plastic-tackling scheme will be a success. But does that mean the end of glitter? Hell no.

“Festivals that have signed the Drastic On Plastic pledge will require their on-site sellers/glitter stalls to use biodegradable glitter by 2021 at the latest,” a spokesperson at the AIF told

“When it comes to festival attendees, the campaign aims to educate about sustainable options rather than police what kind of glitter they bring through the gates.”

So you might not get stopped at the door, but next time you buy glitter, go for a biodegradable option so you can sparkle with a clear conscience. 

Here are our fave biodegradable glitter brands…

Ecostardust, starting from £1.20

Ecostardust, £1.20,

Eco Glitter Fun

Eco Glitter Fun single tins, £4 and sets, £22,

BOD Mermaid Glitter Gel, £5

Bod Mermaid Glitter, £5,

Main Image: Getty