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Marks and Spencer are trialling a new plant glitter in store, which aims to cut plastic waste from our favourite sparkles.

Traditional glitter is a microplastic, and can be potentially harmful in the environment, so Marks and Spencer were looking for a more eco-friendly alternative.

The new plant glitter, Deco Bioglitter® has been developed and is manufactured by Ronald Britton, and is the world’s first naturally degradable glitter.

For the next two months Marks and Spencer are trialling the new Deco Bioglitter® on their sparkling chrysanthemum gift bags, in stores in London and the South Coast.

Stephen Cotton, commercial director at Ronald Britton Ltd, said: “It’s great to be working with Marks and Spencer to offer a more eco-friendly glitter for flower decoration.”

He added: “Tens of tonnes of plastic glitter are used by supermarkets in cards, packaging and in particular for flower and horticultural decoration. It’s a major microplastic issue, and glitter can find its way into the environment not only when goods are ultimately disposed of but also all the way through the supply chain.  Deco Bioglitter®, has been and continues to be developed to address this issue.  It’s the first glitter in the world proven to biodegrade in the natural environment.”

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 and unique form of cellulose, made primarily from Eucalyptus trees.  The new plant glitter is completely durable on 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.

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 for with 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. With the support of retailers likes Marks and Spencer we can really drive towards that goal and ensure that glitter has minimal impact on the environment.”

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