The City of Richmond could be edging towards a ban on decorative glitter, primarily used in children’s arts and crafts.
Effective June 24, all glitter supplies (including loose glitter and glitter glue) are to be removed from studios at the Richmond Arts Centre, with supply, storage and purchasing of glitter be stopped moving forward.
The move comes after it was brought to the city’s attention by a member of the Richmond Artists Guild that the tiny plastic glitter pieces are in the process of being banned in the UK, due to their toxic nature and harm to the environment.
The city told the Richmond News that staff already had concerns about glitter, as it is also very challenging to clean up, and it’s now looking for an alternative before considering a city-wide ban.
Lorraine Wellman, Richmond Artist Guild vice-president, alerted the city to events in the UK and thought that “it was something that was easily eliminated.”
“We don’t necessarily even think about it as both a polluter, (but) it gets into the drains and then into the ocean because it is really tiny bits of plastic,” said Wellman.
Wellman then got the attention of one of the city’s children’s art instructors who, in turn, informed the city.
City spokesperson Ted Townsend said the policy is just in affect at the arts centre, for now.
“The intent is that this is a temporary measure until we have researched and found a non-toxic alternative that is also affordable for city programs. Our staff is currently working on this,” he added.
“The Arts Centre is always looking for ways to ensure the activities there are healthy, safe and environmentally sustainable.
“Glitter has been found to be toxic and can release chemicals that disrupt hormones in humans and is linked to onset of various diseases, in addition to its harmful impact on the environment.”