Environment

Morrisons and Waitrose have announced they will no longer use glitter in their own-brand Christmas products

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Lauren Geall
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Glitter

Christmas 2020 is shaping up to be the greenest yet as supermarkets including Morrisons and Waitrose unveil plans to remove glitter from their own-brand festive products.

Although we don’t know exactly what Christmas 2020 will look like just yet, one thing’s for sure: it’s going to be one to remember. 

We may not know how many people we’ll be able to celebrate with just yet or whether we’ll be allowed to visit other people’s homes, but after the chaos of the last year, we’re more inclined than ever to indulge in the magic that is the festive season.

With that being said, however, there’s also a growing awareness of the impact this time of year tends to have on the environment. Alongside the sheer amount of waste that gets produced (in 2014, it was estimated that 4.2 million Christmas dinners were thrown away), there’s a less-noticeable festive favourite playing havoc with the climate: glitter. 

Because most glitter products are still made from plastic (etched aluminium bonded to polyethylene terephthalate, to be precise), they contribute to the growing problem of microplastics – the minuscule plastic products which often end up being consumed by wildlife and can cause them to starve. 

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The problem is so big that microplastics have been found almost everywhere on earth – from the snow in the Arctic to the Mariana Trench, the deepest point in the ocean. And they’ve even become a problem for humans, too: a 2018 study found that microplastics may actually be widespread in the human food chain.

All in all, then, the amount of glitter we consume during the festive period is a massive problem. It may look pretty, but its impact on the environment is considerably less so.

With this in mind, many people are looking for ways to make their Christmas celebrations eco-friendlier this year – including minimising the amount of glitter they use. And that’s why today’s news – that Morrisons, Waitrose and John Lewis won’t be using any glitter in their own-brand products this year – is seriously helpful.

Glitter
Christmas 2020: Morrisons, Waitrose and John Lewis have all said they will no longer use glitter on their own-brand products.

Alongside removing glitter, Morrisons has also said it will only include paper, metal or wooden toys in its Christmas crackers, and has confirmed they will be completely plastic-free.

These latest announcements aren’t the only way shops are trying to make Christmas 2020 more eco-friendly. Boots, for example, previously announced they would be cutting out single-use plastic packaging from their Christmas gifts, Asda announced in September they would be introducing their first sustainable Christmas range, and Tesco only uses edible glitter.

Sainsbury’s have also said that this year there will be no glitter on their cards, wrapping paper and bags, and that they are reducing the amount of glitter on their crackers, decorations and flowers.

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How to have a sustainable and eco-friendly Christmas

Although it might not seem like much, it’s encouraging to see so many big retailers taking action to reduce the amount of plastic pollution we produce during the festive season – here’s hoping even more follow suit.

To find out more about how to have an eco-friendly Christmas, including the latest sustainable wrapping ideas and the best eco-friendly advent calendars, you can check out our guides.

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