NatureGlitz | Bio Glitter response to ARU Study recently reported on 'by the BBC', 'The Guardian and Cosmetics Business'

Monday 19th Oct 2020 UPDATE:  ‘All that glitters…..’ study – from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU).

Following our contact with ARU regarding our comments and concerns of factual inaccuracy relating to their study report, today the ARU responded to:

  • Acknowledge that the study is over 2 years old and that things have moved on.

Anglia Ruskin University are now in contact with our Glitter producer about potential new studies.

As a result of this the BBC and The Guardian have notified us that they are going to amend their original news reports.  

Our Bio Glitter producer's respond to: Glitter litter ‘could be damaging rivers’”, “Eco glitter causes same damage to rivers as ordinary product – study” and “Biodegradable glitter is no better for the environment” articles.

We have read with interest the findings of the Applied Ecology Research Group (Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge) in the scientific paper ‘All that glitters is litter? Ecological impacts of conventional versus biodegradable glitter in a freshwater habitat’. This paper is the basis for the media reports issued on the 15th October.

Summary response:


  1. We cannot confirm from the Research Group which, if any, genuine NatureGlitz | Bio Glitter product was used in the study.
  2. The study was conducted in July 2018. In the two years since then, Bio Glitter technology has moved on, with two product ranges achieving OK biodegradable WATER certification from TÜV Austria.
  3. The study claims that only the core of eco glitters are tested for biodegradability and eco toxicity and coatings ignored. This is factually incorrect and NOT the case with NatureGlitz | Bio Glitter products. Testing and certification takes into account the whole product. A point now acknowledged by the authors.
  4. We estimate the test environments to be significantly overdosed, upwards of 1000 times greater than might reasonably be expected in terms of glitter as a proportion of all microplastic pollution.
  5. Even inorganic non-biodegradable effect products, such as natural mica and synthetic mica (inorganic mineral material) are shown to have an impact. This suggests that heavily overloading a micro test environment will have some sort of effect.
  6. The study does not take into account that NatureGlitz | Bio Glitter biodegrades in natural, fresh water environments, it does not persistand therefore does not build up over time.
  7. NatureGlitz | Bio Glitter therefore our Glitter producer is the world’s only glitter manufacturer to already offer products that are certified ‘OK biodegradable WATER’ by TÜV Austria. This is the highest level of independent certification for freshwater biodegradability in the world.

It is important to note that in the news stories ‘Eco glitter’ is used to describe both the non-biodegradable mineral-based mica and synthetic mica pigments tested, as well as biodegradable glitter.  All the ‘Eco glitters’ tested are shown to have adverse effects in the study at the high dosage levels used, yet the impression is given that they are all ‘so called biodegradable’ glitters.  This is not the case and suggests an unfair bias towards this one particular type of ‘Eco glitter’ in the reporting.

Article by our Bio Glitter Producer: Andrew Thompson (Technical Director) & Stephen Cotton (Commercial Director)