Australian retailers Big W and Woolworths have committed to all of their Own Brand Christmas collections being glitter-free this holiday season.
Glitter attached to decorations, wrapping paper, cards, and other Christmas trimmings is made from microplastics, single-use, non-recyclable polymers that can have an impact on the environment, entering waterways via landfill and other disposal methods.
According to The Guardian, researchers from Australia’s national science agency found that 9.25m to 15.87m tons of microplastics are embedded in the seafloor. They’ve been found in core samples from Arctic ice, and in the bellies of whales. Humans are estimated to ingest about 5 grams of them (the equivalent of a credit card) every week.
Woolworths reports all of its own-brand products and its full line of general holiday merchandise will be glitter-free, but they have not mentioned glitter’s presence in third-party branded goods they sell.
In a further measure to lessen their environmental impact this Christmas, both retailers say they will sell bonbons (crackers) with prizes inside instead of containing toys and other items made of plastic.
“We want to help create a better tomorrow, and this is a small but meaningful way we can help our customers deliver Christmas cheer without the impact glitter has on the environment,” said Liam Ward, Woolworths Group GM of sustainability transformation and delivery.
Shane Carter, Big W’s head of commercial – home & everyday, said Big W has eliminated an estimated 29 tonnes of plastic from its Christmas-related products and packaging since 2019.
The two businesses are minimising the use of plastic in various forms across their store networks.
Big W’s holiday items will be available in stores and online, while Woolworths’ general holiday merchandise can be purchased in stores from the beginning of November.
Two years ago, Woolworths supermarkets introduced meat-free Christmas roasts