|New biodegradable glitter for print, packaging and coating industry
In a world first, a UK firm has launched a biodegradable, 92% plastic free glitter designed for use in the print, packaging and craft industry.
Traditional glitter is a microplastic, and can be potentially harmful in the environment. As a result there has been rising consumer pressure for products to use eco friendly glitter alternatives.
Deco Bioglitter®, manufactured by Ronald Britton Ltd, is the world’s first glitter proven to degrade in the natural environment, such as soil, rivers, and lakes. Based on a plant material, cellulose rather than plastic, the product has been specially formulated to perform in coating and printing applications.
The product is also safe to be used on children’s toys and clothing, complying with EN71 regulations and based on testing it is expected to meet the requirements of OEKO-TEX.
Stephen Cotton, commercial director at Ronald Britton Ltd, said: “The new Deco Bioglitter®, developed in particular for the decorative and coatings industry, replaces the plastic core used in traditional glitter, with a plant based product, a special form of cellulose unique to Bioglitter®, made primarily from Eucalyptus trees. The new plant glitter is completely durable on the shelf, but once it enters the environment, where microbes can act on it, it will degrade naturally, similar to a leaf.”
The product has recently undergone testing by the independent testing organisation OWS Belgium, which revealed it has excellent biodegradability in fresh water environments, like streams, rivers and lakes, with the vast majority of the biodegradable content in Bioglitter®, biodegrading in just four weeks.
Stephen said: “Tens of tonnes of plastic glitter are used in cards, packaging, glues, paints and general coatings. It’s a major microplastic issue and one that has seen a backlash from consumers who would normally buy products using glitter. There’s political, retailer and consumer pressure to move to an eco friendly option and Deco Bioglitter® has been developed to address the issue. It’s the first glitter in the world proven to biodegrade in the natural environment and offers businesses working in the coating industry an eco friendly option.”
Deco Bioglitter® with its biodegradability credentials coupled with it being 92% plastic free represents a truly eco-friendly alternative to plastic glitter. However, the Ronald Britton team are still determined to drive on with the Bioglitter® journey, not only so it biodegrades in the natural environment but also to attain the ultimate 100% plastic free goal, therefore removing the plastic pollution issue from glitter for good.
Stephen summed up: “The Bioglitter® journey is all about making our products both plastic free, so they are not microplastics and biodegradable in the natural environment, so they leave minimal or no trace. We are extremely pleased about the progress we have made so far, removing 92% of the plastic and obtaining independent proof of its ability to biodegrade in challenging natural environments. However, we are determined and excited about achieving our 100% plastic free goal and ensuring that glitter has minimal impact on the environment.”