We all joke about how glitter gets everywhere, but it truly does get everywhere. It's made of microplastics, bits of plastic that have a nasty habit of finding their way into the environment. Worst of all is when they end up in the ocean, where these shiny little flecks quickly get eaten by fish and other marine life. That's not only bad news for fish, but also for eaters of fish -- like people, or birds, which can then die of starvation because they can't digest the large disco ball of misery forming inside their stomachs.
One study found that these kinds of plastics were present in the bellies of a third of all fish caught in the English Channel. But while we should be wary of the kind glitter that winds up on birthday cards and then every item of clothing you've ever worn, it's the microbeads that make our cosmetics and shower gels look extra fancy that are the real bad stuff. In the UK, a mass revolt is happening against the sparkly evil that is glitter. A whole slew of preschools there began banning the stuff recently, which touched off a movement that stretched as far as New Zealand. And now the government is set on banning plastic microbeads altogether this year. In response, some companies have already started switching to non-plastic glitters like "starched-based lusters," which sounds less like a cosmetic product and more like the kind of bait you'd use to trap hungry ravers.