Supermarket chain Aldi is scrapping plastic glitter from its Halloween range as well as Christmas cards and wrapping paper this year.
The move is part of the supermarket’s new pledge to remove all non-biodegradable glitter from all products by the end of 2020.
It comes as environmental campaigners push for supermarkets and manufacturers to end the use of harmful microplastics.
Fritz Walleczek, managing director of corporate responsibility at Aldi UK and Ireland, said: “We want to be sure our customers can enjoy key events without compromising on sustainability - which is why we’ve promised to remove all non-biodegradable glitter from all of our products by 2020.”
This is the latest plastic reduction pledge from the supermarket, as it has already made significant strides to cutting plastic since committing to using only recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging on its own products by 2022, and on all products by 2025.
Aldi was one of the first retailers to sign up to WRAP’s Plastic Pledge in 2018 and recently confirmed it had sold its last single-use carrier bag, a move which will see around 80 million bags removed from circulation.
Waitrose pledged in December to remove glitter from all its own-brand products by the end of 2020, with a focus on its Christmas lines of crackers, gift wrap and cards. The amout of glitter used will be reduced by Christmas this year, and gone by the festive season next year.
Marks & Spencer is now using a biodegradable glitter – Deco Bioglitter – on gift bags for its flowers and plants.
Ethical cosmetics company Lush was among the first business to use an environmentally friendly form of glitter.
The firm said many glitters contain PET or microplastics, which often end up in the ocean, damaging marine wildlife and polluting our seas with plastics that do not break down.
On its website, it states: "Lush products (sparkly or not) use food-safe colourings as much as possible, synthetic mica, minerals and natural starches. Of all the glitter and lustre that flows out through your bathroom, some of which may make its way back to the ocean, it will all be harmless for the environment."
A UK manufacturer has is among those trying to develop alternatives to microplastic glitter.
Ronald Britton has launched Cosmetic Bioglitter® PURE, based on natural materials, biodegradable and decomposes like a leaf in the natural environment to leave no trace.
The company said it is the first glitter to be verified microplastic free by the EU and officially certified OK Biodegradable WATER by TÜV. This means it is guaranteed to biodegrade in a natural, freshwater environment.
Stephen Cotton, commercial director of Ronald Britton said: “Cosmetic Bioglitter PURE is completely unique in the market, it is the first glitter of its kind in the world to use natural materials and no plastic.
“The issue of plastic waste and microplastics is something we’ve been working towards tackling in glitter for the best part of a decade. Our first step on the Bioglitter journey was the launch of our original Bioglitter® product back in 2014, now known as Cosmetic Bioglitter SPARKLE.”
“Bioglitter® SPARKLE remains our brightest Bioglitter® product and has been independently tested to prove that biodegradation is high in the natural environment. Cosmetic Bioglitter® PURE takes that one step further and offers the market a new glitter effect that is completely plastic free.”