Supermarket giants remove glitter from festive ranges

Date published: 17 October 2020

Asda and Morrisons have announced they will be removing tonnes of plastic from their festive offers this year with the launch of their sustainable Christmas ranges.

Asda says its first sustainable Christmas range will save 66 tonnes of plastic this year – the equivalent of nearly 3,000 real Christmas trees – whilst Morrisons says it will be removing more than 50 tonnes of plastic from its shelves during the festive period.

Following on from steps made last year, Sainsbury’s has also removed glitter from its own-brand Christmas cards, wrapping paper, gift bags and crackers, whereas Tesco confirmed it has removed glitter from its own brand products and removed plastic from its Christmas crackers.

A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said: “Last year the majority of our Christmas ranges contained no glitter. This year, as well as removing glitter on our Christmas cards, wrapping paper, gift bags and crackers, we’ve also removed it from a range of decorations and flowers.”

Focusing on sustainable sourced products, Asda’s festive bay will stock FSC certified timber, paper and pulp, and all the textiles are 100% Better Cotton Initiative cotton. The Better Cotton Initiative is a global not-for-profit organisation and the largest cotton sustainability programme in the world.

The range features glitter-free cards, wrap and gift-bags, which would in previous years have contained small particles of plastic.

Traditional glitter is created from plastic, and used in a range of applications from cosmetics to clothing to crafts. A microplastic as it measures under 5mm, glitter can take hundreds of years to degrade, which has led to campaigners calling for the material to be banned.

Asda is also selling a range of recyclable gift bags and hanging decorations, plus crackers made from 100% recyclable content, including the gift inside.

Sonal Patel, Asda’s Festive Buying Manager, said: “A sustainable Christmas range is something our customers and colleagues are passionate about and this is another way we are helping them to use less and recycle more.

"This is another important step on our journey as a retailer to make all our own brand packaging, whatever material, 100% recyclable by 2025.”

Meanwhile Morrisons has removed glitter entirely from its own-brand ranges of greetings cards, gift wrap, seasonal items and horticulture, instead using soluble inks, foil and paper to decorate FSC certified paper cards, wrap and bags. The amount of plastic packaging on cards has also been reduced, using recyclable cardboard as a substitute.

Morrisons has also removed all plastic toys from its Christmas crackers, which will be completely plastic-free this year. All contents - such as games and gifts - will now be made out of paper, metal or wood and are designed to be kept and reused. The cracker shells will be made from FSC accredited cardboard and decorated with a metallic basked ink - which means they can be recycled at kerbside, along with their packaging.

The supermarket is also introducing a wide range of felt, hessian and wooden Christmas decorations.

Morrisons has extended the move to its non-seasonal lines, saying this will save even more tonnes of plastic all year round.

Christine Bryce, Morrisons Home Director, said: “Every time a cracker is pulled, or a card is opened, plastics have been used... but just the once. So, we’ve taken glitter and plastic out of our festive range this year so that our customers can enjoy their festivities without worrying about the environmental impact.

“This means that we’re now 100 per cent glitter free across all our own brand ranges which is an important step in the fight against plastic pollution.”

Do you have a story for us?

Let us know by emailing
All contact will be treated in confidence.

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.

While you are here...

...we have a small favour to ask; would you support Rochdale Online and join other residents making a contribution, from just £3 per month?

Rochdale Online offers completely independent local journalism with free access. If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer (event listings and free community websites for example), please consider supporting us financially and help Rochdale Online to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come. Thank you.

Support Rochdale Online