With the 2019 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras wrapping up this weekend, organisers have announced that this year’s pride parade will start to phase out the use of glitter, balloons, and plastic water bottles.
Organisers of the event, that is part of one of the oldest continuously operating LGBTQI organisations in Australia, say the glitter ban is part of a push to carbon-neutral within five years.
Speaking with the Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras chief executive Terese Casu explained, “we used to bring in about three tonnes of glitter from China.”
“That goes in the gutter, it ends up in our oceans, our fish eat it, you find it in crab shells and oysters.”
Casu added that the move away from the microplastic glitter is necessary and that everyone involved “must be responsible and make really urgent changes.”
With many biodegradable alternatives and options now becoming available, Organisers say that the days of microplastic glitter, which can be digested by animals and humans need to come to an end.
“There are cleverer ways of achieving something that sparkles and shines without the glitter,” explained Liz Carter, who is one of the production managers helping parade floats become glitter-free.
“I do secretly quite like glitter, but you have to think about the environment. Every festival has a carbon footprint and everyone has to think about that.”