Waitrose, Morrisons and John Lewis ban glitter from own-brand products for Christmas

Glitter dubbed ‘ecological hazard’ by Morrisons

Olivia Petter
Thursday 15 October 2020 08:42 BST

Morrisons, Waitrose and John Lewis have committed to banning glitter from their own-brand Christmas products this year.

This means that glitter will be absent from cards, crackers, wrapping paper, present bags, and plants.

Glitter is notoriously bad for the environment given that is can take hundreds of years to biodegrade.

Morrisons has said it will be removing 50 tonnes of plastic from its shelves ahead of the festive season.

Christine Bryce, Morrisons home director, said: "Every time a cracker is pulled, or a card is opened, plastics have been used... but just the once.

“So, we've taken glitter and plastic out of our festive range this year - so that our customers can enjoy their festivities without worrying about the environmental impact.”

Additionally, a statement released by Waitrose and John Lewis, both part of the John Lewis & Partners group, said that the retailers will remove glitter from all single-use products ahead of Christmas.

"All own-brand cards, crackers, wrapping paper, gift bags are now 100% glitter-free," it said in a statement.

The bans follow a campaign launched in March 2019 by activism group 38 Degrees, which launched a petition addressed to environment secretary Michael Gove.

It called for an urgent ban on glitter and lustre, a thin coating used to add shiny glaze to ceramics.

The letter, written by activist Peter Roberts, cites a recent study led by Professor Richard Thompson which found one third of fish in the North Sea contained microplastic particles.

"Glitter might look lovely but, because it’s plastic, it sticks around long after the sparkle has gone – often in the stomachs of fish and birds,” explained David Innes of 38 Degrees.

“Some major supermarkets are moving to ban these harmful microplastics, but the British public is clear; supermarkets should be moving faster to tackle plastic waste,” he told The Guardian.

A recent study found that even biodegradable glitter can cause environmental harm.

Tests on both ordinary glitter and so-called eco glitter were carried out by Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in Cambridge and revealed that the latter causes the same ecological damage to rivers and lakes as the former.

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