Bioglitter®, sometimes referred to as ecoglitter, is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastic based glitter and has been developed to tackle the part of microplastic pollution created by glitter.
Bioglitter® replaces the polyester film used in traditional glitter with a unique and special form of cellulose from hardwoods, primarily eucalyptus sourced from responsibly managed and certified plantations operating to PEFC™ www.pefc.org standards.
There are two key ultimate goals we are driving to achieve with all Bioglitter® products; 1 – Plastic free, so it’s no longer a microplastic. 2 – Biodegradable in the natural environment, so it leaves minimal or no trace.
The world is facing a major issue with plastic pollution and glitter has played its own small part. Defined as a microplastic, traditional polyester glitter takes hundreds of years to degrade.
Because of its physical size and diverse number of applications; cosmetics, clothing, cards, crafts, to name a few, the plastic and compost recycling bins are typically not where glitter ‘ends up’. Supply chains also need be taken into consideration. Glitter presents a unique challenge requiring a TOTALLY DIFFERENT APPROACH to those suitable for other plastics like in packaging waste.
Glitter can find its way into wastewater after bathing or washing clothing, which can then end up in our rivers and oceans. This is the most probable route that glitter finds its way in to marine habitats. Once in the natural environment, glitter like other microplastics, can cause physical harm to small organisms and end up entering the food chain.
We Thought Glitter Needed a Total Rethink
Making a glitter that could decompose in industrial composting processes is not enough. We thought we should go one step further and develop a glitter that would biodegrade outside in the more challenging natural environment.
Once it enters the natural environment such as a farmer’s field, waste water or river water, microbes will consume the biodegradable content turning it into carbon dioxide, water and biomass.
In a microbe or bacteria free environment Bioglitter® is completely durable.
The speed at which Bioglitter biodegrades depends on local environmental factors, such as heat, moisture and concentration of microbes.
Like a leaf, Bioglitter® will degrade faster in warm and wet conditions.
Where IsBioglitter® Used?
Cosmetic Bioglitter is being used by brands in the cosmeticsindustry, just look for our Bioglitter® logo.
The Bioglitter® product family is soon to expand outside of Cosmetic Bioglitter with Deco Bioglitter®, designed for decorative and coatings industries
Also new to the range will be Craft Bioglitter® designed for artand education uses.
How It All Began
Initiated by conversations in 2010 with selected forward thinking cosmetic manufacturers, we became increasingly aware of the potential issues with small plastic particles in the environment. As a glitter company we felt duty bound to offer an eco-friendly alternative.
Forging a new way forward takes time and inevitably we have discovered lots of ways of how not to do it along the way! It was a huge challenge, however, Bioglitter® is the culmination of many years of research and development; a product which is naturally degradable, non-toxic to the environment and compliant with legislative standards.
Where We Are
Bioglitter® is the first step on our journey to providing a solution to the issue of glitter microplastic pollution and offers an eco-friendly glitter choice.
This Core is certified compostable in both industrial (EN13432, EN14995, ASTM D6400, ISO 17088) and home composting environments (OK Compost Home) and also marine biodegradation approved to ASTM D6691-09. No other glitter film material currently matches this criteria.
We have now reached a milestone stage in the Bioglitter® journey, proving categorically through independent testing to ISO 14851 – Fresh Water Biodegradability, that Bioglitter® biodegrades in fresh water, eg river and lake water, a very challenging natural environment. Test results show that the vast majority of the biodegradable content in Bioglitter® products biodegraded in just 4 weeks. This proves that the coatings we apply during the manufacture of Bioglitter® do not impair the known ability of its unique core to biodegrade in the natural environment.
With the current incarnation of Bioglitter® we have already come a long way to achieving our goal of a naturally biodegradable and plastic free glitter. Being 92% plastic free and degradable outside in the natural environment, Bioglitter® already significantly reduces its effect on nature. Nevertheless we are working hard to go further….. to remove the last of the plastic and continue to increase the biodegradable content.
Plans For The Future
The challenge continues. Making the final steps can be increasingly difficult, however, the future possibilities have us all energised and excited about things to come. We feel incredibly privileged to have this opportunity to make a difference. Currently we are investing in a major research and development program to drive all Bioglitter® products to their ultimate goal of being both:-
Plastic free, so it’s no longer a microplastic.
Biodegradable in the natural environment, so it leaves minimal or no trace.
Watch this space for our latest announcements and new products!
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