Marks & Spencer has pledged to remove glitter from its entire Christmas celebration range in an effort to make it greener.
This year, the retailer's Christmas cards and wrapping paper will contain absolutely no glitter, which is generally made from forms of microplastics that can end up in the sea.
The environmental damage caused by microplastics and single-use plastics has become a massive source of concern for many of us after being highlighted in heartbreaking documentaries such as Drowning in Plastic.
It's also been estimated that the average person consumes 120,000 particles of microplastics a year simply by breathing air and eating food which contains them. The effect that ingesting microplastics could have on our health remains unknown.
"We know reducing single-use plastics is as important to our customers as it is to our business, so removing glitter from our cards and wrap range will make it easier for them to celebrate Christmas in a more sustainable way,” M&S food technology director Paul Willgoss said.
Willgoss also said that M&S is working to make all of its non-festive greeting cards and gift wrap glitter-free by the end of 2020, calling the glitter-free Christmas range "a step in the right direction".
M&S isn't the first major retailer to phase out glitter. Waitrose announced last year that by the end of 2020, all of its "own-label cards, wrap, crackers, tags, flowers and plants will either be glitter-free" or made using an eco-friendly alternative. Tesco has already banned plastic glitter from its 2019 Christmas range, while Aldi has pledged to phase out plastic glitter by the end of 2020.