5-speed listening (Glitter - Level 6)

Environmentalists call for worldwide ban on glitter



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Scientists are highlighting the damage that glitter does to our seas, oceans and environment. The scientists are calling for a worldwide ban on the sparkly, shiny pieces of plastic that decorate everything from eyelids to greetings cards to furniture. Scientists from New Zealand's Massey University say glitter is a micro-plastic and should therefore be banned. They say a considerable amount of glitter ends up in the world's oceans. Fish cannot digest it and it does not break down, so it stays in the food chain. Professor Richard Thompson conducted research in the seas around the United Kingdom. He found that plastic particles were discovered in about one-third of the fish caught.

Micro-plastics are tiny pieces of plastic that are less than five millimeters long. Most glitter produced around the world falls into the category of micro-plastics. Dr Trisia Farrelly told Britain's "Independent" newspaper: "I think all glitter should be banned because it's a micro-plastic." Professor Thompson said: "I was quite concerned when somebody bought my daughters some shower gel that had glitter particles in it. That stuff is going to escape down the plughole and potentially enter the environment." Some cosmetics companies are now discontinuing their use of plastic glitter. The company Lush stated: "We've avoided micro-plastics by switching to synthetic and mineral glitter."

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