“Too much confusion”: Plastic-free glitter firm highlights the importance of certification for biodegradability

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Plastic-free glitter firm Bioglitter believes certification is essential to re-educate consumers about biodegradability and remove widespread confusion in the market. ©Bioglitter
Plastic-free glitter firm Bioglitter believes certification is essential to re-educate consumers about biodegradability and remove widespread confusion in the market. ©Bioglitter
Plastic-free glitter firm Bioglitter believes certification is essential to re-educate consumers about biodegradability and remove widespread confusion in the market.

The firm claims to be the creator of the world’s first guilt-free glitters. Bioglitter Pure, is a 100% plastic-free glitter that “decomposes like a leaf”​ in the natural environment.

Stephen Cotton, commercial director of Bioglitter, told CosmeticsDesign-Asia ​that before Bioglitter, the materials available to produce a biodegradable glitter could only biodegrade in a compost environment but not in a natural one.

This, he added, was the biggest misconception of biodegradable products.

“Not many people know that there is a hierarchy to biodegradability. Anyone can claim a product is biodegradable if it biodegrades in a compost bin. However, that does not mean it can biodegrade in a natural environment. Glitter, in particular, needs to biodegrade in the natural environment because it often finds its way to nature.”

He added: “There is too much confusion and misunderstanding in the market. What we are trying to do is educate and offer information to explain all different types and levels of biodegradability so our customers and the consumers know when they are buying the right product.”

Emphasis on certification

The company firmly believes that the best way to help the consumer understand biodegradability is with certification.

“Certification makes it easy to communicate to the end consumer what biodegradability means,” ​said Cotton.

Bioglitter Pure has an OK Biodegradable WATER certification from TÜV Austria.

“It is a very well-recognised organisation. It only accepts test results from certain test methods conducted by accredited test labs. And they need three test results to prove it’s not just a one-off,” ​said Cotton.

An OK Biodegradable WATER certification guarantees that a product cam biodegrade in a natural, freshwater environment.

“We were advised to test in freshwater as marine water tests are still under a lot of debate. Freshwater testing is the most difficult test method that's well-understood. The idea is that if our product can biodegrade in the freshwater streams and river, it will never reach the ocean to cause any harm,” ​explained Cotton.

Certification is also a way to identify authentic products.

Cotton revealed that there were companies in the market claiming to sell Bioglitter as the company was not able to get the trademark for the name.

“We’re not against competition. We want to see proof and certification, to be on the same playing field. If someone has misleading information, they are just ripping off the consumer and doing more harm to the environment.”

Transparency first

The company’s other goal is to achieve certification for Bioglitter Sparkle.

“Bioglitter Sparkle is a great product that has high biodegradability. However, it still contains a bit of plastic. With the new technology we use with Bioglitter Pure, we can apply what we’ve learnt to remove the last traces of plastic and achieve certification for all our products,” ​said Cotton.

He added that the company was very confident and believes it can achieve its goal in 12 to 18 months.

“We’re very open about what we are doing. We’ve never said this is something we can fix immediately. We want to share our journey and our roadmap on how we will achieve plastic-free products.”

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