Sustainable sparkles at M&S

03 September 2019 | Becky White
When it comes to Christmas, I am a fully-fledged, truly dedicated festive elf. Waiting for the ‘acceptable’ time to start playing festive tunes is, quite frankly, painful, and as soon as we enter September, I can practically smell the Christmas turkey. Fluffy socks and knitted blankets make their way into my bed and the thrilling challenge of buying Christmas presents becomes a reality once again. My passion for Christmas is real.

Spice-scented candles and crackling fires are just the beginning. I, for one, am someone who looks forward to visiting department stores at this time of year to see exactly what they have to offer, with glitter and shiny decorations never failing to catch my eye. But what if one of my staple Christmas shopping stores was to scrap these for the foreseeable?

Marks and Spencer is set to remove all non-recyclable materials from its Christmas decorations this year – including glitter and other microplastics. M&S will also be encouraging customers to recycle its decorations by featuring clearly marked tips and advice on the packaging, aiming to have 100% glitter and microplastic free gift ranges by 2020.

As a tip of the hat to our current climate, M&S has mindfully replaced these non-recyclable materials with paper patterns and minimal foils. By supporting M&S this winter, we can continue to sparkle all season whilst helping to save the environment – it’s a win-win!

M&S has already succeeded in removing a whopping 1,000 tonnes of plastic packaging in a bid to reduce plastic pollution. Not only are microplastics known to infiltrate our oceans - posing threat to aquatic life - they’re also thought to be a causing factor of potential health issues in humans, since we ingest approximately 120,000 particles of these miniscule yet dangerous substances per year.

Despite its devastating impacts on our environment, I have to admit that I do love glitter – in previous years, I’d have happily purchased glitter baubles, sprinkled it in Christmas cards or stuck it on my face. But given the recent, heavy concern over plastics and their micro counterparts, I certainly will be thinking twice this year when the height of the festive season comes around, looking for sustainable alternatives.

I’m sure you’ll join me in raising a toast (i.e. a large glass of mulled wine) to M&S; for if these efforts help to reduce overall levels of plastic pollution, forfeiting glitter at Christmastime is more than worth it.