Protect Marine Life: Ban Glitter

Target: Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

Goal: Heed the advice of scientists and impose a ban on glitter to protect ocean life.

Glitter may not seem like much of a threat, but according to scientists and researchers, it is extremely hazardous to sea life. The health of ocean creatures suffers immensely from the pollution of their waters, and tiny pieces of plastic like glitter are especially threatening because of how frequently sea creatures mistake them for food.

Glitter is made of bits of polymer, a substance known as microplastic, meaning plastic less than 0.19 inches long. Its scientific name is polyethylene terephthalate (PET), commonly referred to as Mylar, which is typically only a millimeter in length. These tiny particles float, and look like food to marine life—studies show that small creatures like Eurasian perch larvae, for example, often choose to eat microplastics over their natural diet, which is extremely dangerous to the health of the individual and of the species in the long term.

Microplastics make up almost 93% of the 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic polluting our oceans, according to a 2014 study. Although that number refers to all types of microplastics, like bits that were once part of larger items such as bottles, banning glitter would be an important first step to addressing this problem. Sign below to demand that our oceans be protected and glitter be banned.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Administrator Pruitt,

Scientists are calling for a ban on glitter in order to protect marine life, and their advice must be heeded. Glitter and other microplastics are extremely dangerous to sea creatures, who often mistake the tiny particles for food.

Hundreds of thousands of tons of plastic pollute our oceans, and the vast majority of that is microplastics. Some marine life ingests more of these plastics than actual food, which is an extreme hazard both to the health of the individual and the population as a whole. Banning glitter could be an important first step toward decreasing this pollution and protecting and preserving marine life. I urge you to follow the advice of scientists and researchers and impose a ban on glitter.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Kevin Krejci

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8 Comments

  1. Get rid of glitter! Save marine life!

  2. Can we just start making glitter out of something else?

  3. Why can’t we just make glitter biodegradable… We should make many more things recyclable and biodegradable.

  4. Gigi Middlebrook Gigi Middlebrook says:

    We have to stop the oceans becoming fields of plastic that are killing sea creatures by the millions. Get rid of disposable straws. If you see plastic in the ocean take it out. Human beings are poisoning our planet and the animals that live here.

  5. Glitter is unnecessary… also could maybe be made from material that is food grade or biodegradable???

  6. Storm A Rathburn says:

    I think glitter should be made out of fish food. It’s sparkly too.

    • Stephen Day says:

      Particulate “Fish food” (ie: planktons) only appear glittery when they are alive and moving in sea water.

      Fish scales also appear sparkly and metallic looking. Perhaps a study should be conducted to see if the fish scales that are removed from food can be preserved and used as a replacement? Of course, this may be counter-productive if fish end up being killed en mass just to replace glitter – for the sake of saving fish.

  7. Stephen Day says:

    This petition is useless for Western nations, since they don’t make it their business to dump trash in the oceans.

    If a ban like this is to be at all effective then it needs to be enacted in countries that do use our oceans as dumping grounds … though they won’t be cooperative.

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