Glitter at Christmas: Supermarkets tackle pollution by removing sparkles

Last updated at 07:32
christmas-wrapping.Getty Images

Marks & Spencer is going to remove glitter from its Christmas celebration range this year.

That means there won't be any glitter on M&S cards, wrapping papers, crackers or gift bags.

The company says it is doing this to reduce plastic waste and also to encourage people to recycle their items.

But it's not the only organisation which has put a focus on its use of glitter in a bid to do better by the planet.

glitter-in-hands.Getty Images
Are other companies doing this?

Other companies are taking steps to reduce their use of plastic and non-biodegradable glitter.

Waitrose says it will ban it in its festive range by Christmas 2020 and use biodegradable alternatives instead.

Aldi has also made commitments to replace glitter with other more environmentally-friendly products.

What's wrong with glitter?

Campaigners are calling on the government to ban the sale of glitter because standard glitter contains micro plastics that can harm marine life.

A group called 38 Degrees has launched a petition addressed to the environment secretary. It's pointing to a recent study which revealed that up to one-third of fish caught in the North Sea have micro plastic particles in their bodies - including glitter.

Some companies have created biodegradable glitter or plastic-free glitter as an alternative.

British scientist Stephen Cotton helped to create a pioneering eco-glitter made from eucalyptus tree extract and aluminium. (Click here if you can't see the video below.)

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WATCH: Putting the sparkle in glitter without the plastic

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