Selfridges to remove all plastic-based glitter by 2021


Selfridges has pledged to remove all plastic-based cosmetic glitter from sale in its Beauty Halls by January 2021 as part of its central Buying Better, Inspiring Change strategy. This is the department store’s latest commitment to driving positive change by reducing plastic pollution that is destroying marine life, entering the food chain and ultimately impacting human health.

As part of Selfridges journey to rethink the use of plastics, the retailer has banned all plastic carrier bags, single-use plastic water and carbonated drinks bottles and plastic straws. In 2016, Selfridges removed products containing plastic microbeads, two years ahead of a national manufacturing ban. Last year, all single-use, plastic-based cosmetic wet wipes were removed from stores, both for purchase and use at counter. 

As with microbeads and other micro-plastics within cosmetics, single-use glitter is easily washed away, leading to it entering water-systems with ease, going on to pollute oceans and endanger marine life.

The World Health Organisation has called for a further assessment of microplastics in the environment and their potential impact on human health following research related to microplastics in drinking-water. The Organization also called for a reduction in plastic pollution to benefit the environment.

“As we continue to see the devastating and irreversible impact of single-use plastics on our environment and on marine life in particular, we are committed to reducing Selfridges’ plastic footprint, a key milestone in our ongoing Buying Better, Inspiring Change business strategy.” Daniella Vega, Director of Sustainability at Selfridges, comments.

“By removing all micro-plastic glitter products from our beauty offer, we hope to inspire our customers, suppliers and fellow retailers to act responsibly, seek alternatives and make positive change through transparent and meaningful action.”

The commitment represents a significant collaboration with Selfridges 300 plus beauty partners.  Over the next 12 months, brands where products include plastic glitter will be working to remove these from their collections available to purchase through Selfridges. Many brands, including Lancôme, IT Cosmetics, Benefit and Christian Louboutin Beauty are already plastic glitter free at Selfridges.  

“Beauty is a feel-good industry, so it is important to us that by being transparent, taking steps towards reducing unnecessary plastics and offering alternatives, our customers can also feel good by making informed and responsible buying decisions.” says Melissa McGinnis, Selfridges Head of Beauty.

Since launching Project Ocean in 2011, Selfridges has been committed to driving awareness and change through creative retail activism. The ban of the sale of all exotic skins, announced in January 2019, takes effect on 1st February. 2020 will welcome the next phase of Buying Better, Inspiring Change, with further sustainability commitments for the next decade to be announced soon.