All I Want For Christmas Is Sustainability: Supermarkets Ditch Glitter This Season


The Covid-19 pandemic has caused many shifts in society, both good and bad, but in positive news sustainability and environmentalism are now becoming central to big brands. This is noticeable in multiple industries, most recently in supermarkets’ efforts to make Christmas, arguably the most wasteful time of the year, more eco-friendly.

Asda began this trend, announcing its first sustainable Christmas range in September, with Sainsbury’s following suit, stating that “customers will find no glitter on our Christmas cards, wrapping paper or gift bags.” Waitrose also jumped aboard the ditching-glitter-train, with plans to make products 100% glitter-free, and a pledge to create their own packing that is reusable or compostable by 2023. Other stores have taken a different approach, with Tesco offering glitter that’s edible – taking away the harmful aspect that plastic glitter poses to the environment, most notably our oceans. The biggest threat of glitter, being a small plastic that can drain out of your washing machine as microplastic, is that sea animals can eat it – leading to either their death, or them digesting it and passing the plastic onto us if they are caught and eaten.

It’s statistics that are most refreshing about this all, as it shows that even a small change in products and plastic waste can lead to a big difference. For instance, Boots have pledged to cut single-use plastic from their stores, which will result in an astonishing reduction of 2,000 tonnes of plastic. Similarly, Morrisons will be removing 50 tonnes of plastic from their stores this holiday season, as they cut back on glitter, and make their Christmas cracker toys out of wood, metal, or paper. These changes are making a huge difference, whilst barely impacting our festivities. In fact, they are making the holidays even better, by giving us a clear conscience, and an eco-friendly experience we surely won’t forget. Or better yet, we will forget this change, as hopefully this will begin a big shift towards plastic reduction until we forget it was ever such a huge part of our lives. This is evident, as Morrisons state that their changes will extend past the holiday season, and Boots’ single-use plastic reduction mission is to continue throughout the year.

However, as Tony Bosworth, Friends of the Earth campaigner stated, though these changes are great, society needs to push further to fight plastic pollution. Yes, the ditching of glitter and single-use plastic is an amazing start (albeit one that is long overdue), but it is government action that’s now needed to make a real change. Hopefully this is something we can see in the next year, but for now, let’s celebrate this season in style. Glitter-free style!


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