Sustainable sparkle – M&S ditch the glitter this christmas

By Jade Carpenter

We all know the moment on Christmas day; all the presents are opened and dinner is finished, so you sit down to relax … and that’s when you spot it, the explosion of glitter covering your hands, clothes, hair and furniture. That’s when you know your life is going to look like one big Christmas sparkle for the foreseeable future.

Even though it looks pretty for the short lifespan it has on the actual decoration, card or wrapping paper, glitter can be a bit of a pain to get rid of from every other surface of your home. Not only this, but it’s not so environmentally friendly.

According to a recent report, microplastics are contaminating the “most remote and deepest places on the planet”. Glitter adds to this problem as when it’s washed down the sink, it will end up in the ocean. It causes detrimental damage to marine life who suffer contamination and starvation when such materials end up in their digestive systems.

“The retailer said it strives to have its cards and wrapping paper 100% glitter free by the end of 2020”

This year supermarket chain, Marks & Spencer’s have taken action to ensure their ‘greeting cards, wrapping paper, tags, gift bags, calendars and crackers’ are all glitter free, “in a bid to improve recyclability and reduce the impact of microplastics on the environment”, according to a press release received by thecity.ie.

The now recyclable products will maintain their festive sparkle by using “innovative paper patterns or minimal foils”. The retailer said it strives to have its cards and wrapping paper 100% glitter free by the end of 2020.

Paul Willgoss, Director of Food Technology at M&S, said: “We know reducing single-use plastics is as important to our customers as it is to our business, so removing glitter from our cards and wrap range will make it easier for them to celebrate Christmas in a more sustainable way.

“Their Christmas cards have switched from plastic to card packaging, saving 50 tonnes of plastic with this act alone”

He continued: “This is a step in the right direction as we continue working on our plans to completely remove glitter from the range next year.”

Their Christmas cards have switched from plastic to card packaging, saving 50 tonnes of plastic with this act alone.

More and more shops are making an effort to be more environmentally friendly this Christmas with UK stores, John Lewis and Waitrose announcing they will stop selling Christmas crackers containing single use plastic prizes in 2020.

We expect to see most major chains following this trend in the months to come, so we can all enjoy Christmas time without the environmental expense.

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