Earlier this year, I noted that the latest pollutant being targeted by environmentalists was microplastics from polymer-based fabrics.
This proved troubling to many climate justice warriors, as activist essentials such as yoga pants was contributing to the flow of small, plastic particulates to the ocean.
Just in time for Christmas and all its sparkling decor comes news that the latest scourge has been identified: Glitter.
Glitter seems like a harmless bit of fun, but its environmental impact has led some scientists to call for it to be banned.
Most glitter is made from plastic, and the small size of its particles makes it a potential ecological hazard, particularly in the oceans.
“I think all glitter should be banned, because it’s microplastic,” said Dr Trisia Farrelly, an environmental anthropologist at Massey University.
It is important to note that Farrelly has her degree in Social Anthropology and not Marine Biology or Hyrdogeology. However, the elite media probably doesn’t look too deeply into credentials when shopping for an environmental expert.
The source the the concern is that sea life views the microplastics as food. Here is the data that the researcher cited in the panic piece used:
A 2014 study in the open-access journal PLOS ONE estimated that there are about 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic weighing a total of 268,940 tons (243,978 metric tons) floating in the world’s seas. Microplastics made up 92.4 percent of the total count.
I would like to put that 286,940 tons in perspective. Have you ever wondered how much water is in the oceans? Here are the statistics:
One cubic kilometer of water is the equivalent to 264 billion gallons. The weight of one gallon of water is 8.34 pounds. Therefore, one cubic kilometer is 1,118,900,000 tons. But let’s make the continuing math simple, by saying it is 1 million tons.
Multiplying the total amount in cubic kilometers in the oceans by 1 million, there is 1,338,000,000,000,000 tons of water. Further calculation reveals that the 268,940 tons of glitter comprises 2 X 10(-8) percent of the total contents of the Earth’s oceans. Therefore I suspect that the hazard to the microbes, fish, and whales is not as vast as the study presents.
Furthermore, it appears that microplastics are safe in drinking water!
Samples taken from more than a dozen countries found a 500 ml glass of tap water contained on average four tiny plastic fibres.
Analysis by environmental investigators Orb Media and the University of Minnesota School of Public Health showed 72% of samples taken in the UK were contaminated.
..Professor Richard Thompson of Plymouth University, who was one of the first scientists to identify microplastics in the environment, said important questions remained over the drinking water research.
He said: “There is no evidence that any pieces described as plastic were formally identified, that there was any forensic analysis.
“That’s quite an involved laboratory procedure to confirm the type of plastic. That data appears to be missing.”
He added even if the fibres were plastic, contamination levels were low and the water was safe to drink.
I believe the attack on glitter is a ham-handed seasonal attempt to gin-up more public panic over the lasted environmental scourge to push for more research money…and more government regulations. In fact, the UK planning to impose glitter bans in some cosmetics already.
It is also a great marketing opportunity for some companies to virtue signal and offer a high-priced, organic alternative:
You can still shine bright; you just need to choose your glitter products wisely. Look out for the word “biodegradable” on your shimmer dust packaging, and avoid glitter products with polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP) in them. A lot of mermaid-y products say they’re glittery, but that sheen could be the product of plastic-free mica powder.
So, enjoy your glitter this holiday season. Ultimately, I don’t think the climate activists are going to take the sparkle completely out of the season.
The 2016 sales of yoga pants were $2 billion for one firm, and sales are projected to go to $4 billion in 2020. I suspect that there will still be glitter, too…despite the climate justice scrooges.DONATE
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