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Retailers are taking a hard line on glitter this holiday season, vowing to eliminate it from holiday wrapping in an effort to save the environment. It’s a start. Given a teeeeeeeeeeny tiny one.

Humans release about 1.5 million tons of primary microplastics into the ocean annually, which equates to about one plastic bag per person per week. These come from glitter, sure, but also those tiny microbeads that are in your exfoliators, your clothes when they are washed, and all manner of unexpected places. The number 2 cause of microplastics comes from bits of cars and tires that are washed from the road.

Glitter is a very small piece of the pollution stew but it can’t hurt to get rid of it. It is a synthetic that comes with a production cost to our environment and given we’ve lived without so much merrymaking in 2020, will this really make a difference this year?

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