From: The Division of Campus Planning, Infrastructure, and Facilities

While glitter may add extra flare to commencement photo poses, it is nearly impossible to completely clean up off the ground, can be harmful to nearby wildlife, and contributes to the growing plastic pollution crisis.

Students are asked to avoid posing with glitter during photos at Hahn Garden Pavilion and Horticulture Garden, Burruss Hall, or any other campus location. The Hahn Horticulture Garden is a treasured campus location and is used as a learning resource for plant material, landscaping concepts, and environmental awareness, as well as a place to enjoy and relax.

Why is glitter so harmful?

Glitter is typically made with polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and aluminum. PET is a microplastic that can take over one thousand years to biodegrade. Since the material is so small, it easily passes through filtration systems in sewage facilities and ends up in our waterways and oceans. This can be damaging for any aquatic life that comes into contact with the glitter.

Commencement photo alternatives include bubbles or making use of photo editing programs to add sparkling features in post-photoshoot. 

Questions may be directed to the Office of Sustainability at sustainability@vt.edu

 

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