Making the world sparkle (sustainably) with BioGlitz

Sustainability as innovation

 

In October 2023, the European Union officially banned loose glitter, specifically those containing microplastics or any other toxic substance that can easily be released into the environment (Connolly, 2023). This move drastically changed some businesses’ sales, and it will continue to do so as restrictions become more and more strict. Glitter has always been a highly toxic product when released in nature, for different reasons. The first issue concerns its size. Glitter is extremely small, meaning that it’s easily dispersible in water and on land. Second, when glued to other materials, such as paper, it makes it impossible to recycle it.
Lastly, glitter is a microplastic, meaning that it has the ability to appear as food to fish and little marine animals, disrupting the whole food chain (Mahroof, 2o23). The ban on glitter is just the tip of the iceberg, as many additional restrictions will follow in the future. Governments and companies are being asked to work together to figure out a way to continue sustaining the economy while complying with sustainability rules. So instead of seeing sustainability as an issue, some suggest considering it an opportunity. According to Nidumolo et al. (2009) in the Harvard Business Review, making green changes to a business is the key driver of innovation.

A key message mentioned in the article published in the Harvard Business Review is that “enterprises that focus on meeting emerging norms gain more time to experiment with materials, technologies, and processes” (Nidumolu et al., 2009). As glitter begins to be banned in different areas of the world, companies that have already developed technologies to manufacture alternative types of glitter will find themselves in an advantageous position, and BioGlitz is the perfect example. The NYC-based brand produces multi-purpose biodegradable glitter made from eucalyptus trees. The materials used in the manufacturing process are all sourced from The Forest Stewardship Council Certified suppliers and comply with industry standards (BioGlitz, n.d.). BioGlitz has proven to be taking its commitment to the environment seriously and has gained the first mover advantage as one of the first brands to ever produce biodegradable glitter. It successfully recognised the issue surrounding the microplastics in glitter and used it as a key driver for generating an innovative product. However, how will other glitter manufacturers survive the upcoming bans? People are not going to give up their glittery obsession anytime soon, so businesses will have to adapt. For now, all we can do is glitter up in our BioGlitz and hope for the best.

References

BioGlitz. (n.d.). https://www.bioglitz.co/

Connolly, K. (2023). Glitter sales surge in Germany before EU microplastics ban this week. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/oct/09/glitter-sales-surge-in-germany-before-eu-microplastics-ban-this-week

Mahroof, K. (2023). Analysis: How decorative glitter contributes to microplastic pollution. PBS. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/analysis-how-decorative-glitter-contributes-to-microplastic-pollution#:~:text=Glitter%20is%20already%20a%20microplastic,ends%20up%20in%20the%20ocean.

Nidumolu, R., Prahalad, C.K., & Rangaswami, M.R. (2009). Why Sustainability Is Now the Key Driver of Innovation. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2009/09/why-sustainability-is-now-the-key-driver-of-innovation

Image: https://www.bioglitz.co/shop/coffee

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