17/11/2017 11:02 GMT

Tops Day Nurseries Chain Bans Children From Using Glitter Due To Fears It Damages Environment

'We have a responsibility to lead the Early Years sector to be more sustainable.'

A nursery chain in south England has banned kids from using glitter due to fears it is damaging the environment.

Tops Day Nurseries, a chain that has been running for 27 years, has put a stop to activities involving the substance, which is often used a whole lot more during the festive period.

In a statement given to HuffPost UK, Amy Alderson, operations director for the nurseries said: “At Tops Day Nurseries we have a pledge to be more environmentally friendly.

“Glitter is a microplastic and is getting into our food chain via our marine life. Plastic for humans is toxic and can affect fertility, immune systems and also has a link to some cancers.” 

Alena_M via Getty Images

The spokesperson continued: “Along with our most recent effort, to help minimise our damage to the environment we have minimised the use of one use plastics, we have a zero waste to landfill policy, electric company cars and use bamboo tooth brushes with the children, to name just a few of our sustainable initiatives.

“We have a responsibility to lead the Early Years sector to be more sustainable and educate our children to be more aware of our environment.”

Managing director of the nursery chain, Cheryl Hadland, said she made the decision after she found out glitter is a microplastic.

Microplastics are fragments of plastic less than five millimetres, that can be harmful to ocean and aquatic life.

Yesterday [16 November], a scientist warned that glitter - in all aspects of life - should be banned over the environmental impact.  

“I think all glitter should be banned, because it’s microplastic,” Dr Trisia Farrelly, an environmental anthropologist at Massey University told the Independent

“When people think about glitter they think of party and dress-up glitter. But glitter includes cosmetic glitters as well, the more everyday kind that people don’t think about as much.” 

So if glitter is damaging the environment, what alternatives could children use when they’re making festive crafts near Christmas time?

We’re asking parents and nurseries over on Facebook and Twitter if they have any eco-friendly alternatives so do get in touch via social media, or drop us an email on if you have any ideas. 

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