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Glitter is Litter: How a Photography Trend is Damaging Our Environment

Graduation caps will be flying soon but the glitter has already been tossed in the air in order to get that perfect shot during graduation photo sessions. Glitter has become a popular photo prop recently thanks to social media and other websites such as Pinterest but, just like that photo the effects of glitter on our environment will last a lifetime.

Glitter is teeny tiny bits of plastic also know as micro-plastics and unfortunately cannot be recycled. These types of plastics never breakdown and account for 85% of plastics found in our environment. Micro-plastics often end up in our oceans being consumed by marine life. Not only is glitter harmful to our environment but it is also very difficult to clean up making it nearly impossible to reuse or upcycle.

Glitter has become such problem that in 2018 sixty British music festivals pledged to ban single-use plastics, including glitter, from their festival sites. Glitter is also becoming an overwhelming issue at college campuses across the country. Many popular photo spots on campus are now covered with glitter and confetti causing problems for groundskeepers, other photographers, and of course, the environment.

Here are a few suggestions for those who feel that adding sparkle to their photo is a must:

1) Find a professional photographer that can add sparkle to your photo in post-production.

2) Order biodegradable glitter. You can find it here.

3) Be prepared to clean up your mess. Bring along a broom and dustpan and sweep up the glitter quickly in order to get the most that you can. We all know that getting all of it is impossible.

Let's all remember that tossing glitter on the ground is just the same as tossing our plastic bottle on the side of the road. Glitter is litter. It cannot be recycled and it is your responsibility to clean up.

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