M&S cut back on the “magic and sparkle”

Marks & Spencer has removed glitter from its entire 2019 Christmas celebration range as part of an effort to improve the recyclability of its products and curb the amount of microplastics that households end up churning out into the natural world.

All Christmas cards, wrapping paper, tags, gift bags, calendars and crackers sold at M&S will be glitter-free, the retailer has announced. Product designers have replaced the sparkly stuff with “innovative paper patterns” and foil to add pizzazz to the plainer packaging.

M&S has also added instructions on the back of its wrapping paper rolls to encourage customers to ensure the packaging will be accepted by recycling facilities. Tips include removing sticky tape and any add-ons such as bows that would “contaminate” the paper and prevent it from being recycled. The company has also promised to make all its greeting cards and gift-wrapping products glitter-free by the end of 2020.

Meantime, M&S rival Waitrose announced in December last year that it would phase out glitter on all own-brand products by Christmas 2020.

Festival clamp-down

Until recently festival goers could frequently be seen adorned with the decorative sparkles. But in 2018 dozens of festivals including Bestival, Oxjam and Field Day pledged to ban the sale of plastic glitter on-site within the next three years as part of an initiative to eliminate all single-use plastic from their events.

Strictly feels the pressure

Since Strictly started in 2004, make-up artists have daubed celebrities in 150 litres of liquid glitter eye shadow, as well as working their way through 1,200 sets of fake eyelashes and 1,000 bottles of nail polish. But shortly after the ‘rinse-off’ microbead ban announced by the government last year the BBC announced TV’s most sparkle-tastic show would be switching to a biodegradable glitter.

A spokesman for the show said: “All our liquid glitter used in the theme weeks is sourced from Burt’s Bees which is all biodegradable, and this series we will also be using biodegradable makeup wipes.”

Small nursery ban / Big impact

Cheryl is naturally delighted that her very public and proactive glitter ban just before Christmas 2017 has had such an impact across the globe, but the sheer volume and permanence of plastic waste in our seas and waterways demands more and better solutions!

This article is adapted from a story by Katie Grant that first appeared in inews, published 30th August 2019 and available at  inews.co.uk/news/consumer/marks-and-spencer-glitter-removed-christmas-cards-wrapping-paper