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Skip the glitter to save the animals when holiday crafting, B.C. group says

Glitter and sparkles are tiny pieces of plastic known as microplastics, which are known to put animals at risk

An organization that supports B.C. kids in nature wants holiday fanatics and crafters to be careful when using glitter.

NatureKids BC is urging people to swap out commercial glitter products, also known as microplastics, for environmentally-friendly alternatives to help keep fish and birds away from the plastic hazards.

Microplastics are a growing problem for marine life, as glitter gets into the ocean and rivers through household wastewater and run-off from landfills, the group said on Tuesday.

“The size of the fragments means they’re easily swallowed by sea life and the results can prove fatal,” said Louise Pedersen, executive director of NatureKids BC.

“Fish, shellfish, seabirds, whales and other marine organisms can simply not tell the difference between particles of food and plastic, and will consume the indigestible plastic bits, which can fill up their stomachs and lead to starvation.”

Homemade glitter can be made from things many already have in the cupboard, such as food dyes, salt, sugar or lentils.

“For those young glitter fans who can’t forgo some sparkle this Christmas, biodegradable glitter can be bought online,” Pedersen added.


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