I HAVE never been a big fan of glitter.

Like eating ice cream with a wooden spoon, or swallowing those weird Oddfellow sweets that made your tongue burn, touching glitter always made me feel distinctly uncomfortable.

I hated getting the tiny little sparkly bits stuck under my nails, and the sandpapery feel of it on a card or piece of paper sets my teeth on edge.

It’s not that I don’t like sparkly, shimmery things – I can appreciate how pretty they are. It’s just the process of making them I don’t like.

I’ve never thought too much about it and have gamefully always participated when required in craft sessions with my children that necessitated loads of the stuff being fired at assorted cardboard tubes and plates and pieces of paper.

But now, like the rest of the planet, I have realised glitter is most definitely NOT good. When you think about it, of course it isn’t. It’s like nicotine-flavoured chewing gum and Artex on your living room walls – when you actually, properly think about it, it’s blindingly obvious that it’s such a bad idea.

Glitter is made up of teeny tiny pieces of shiny plastic called microplastics. Microbeads, another form of microplastic, came under scrutiny recently when it was discovered that they were present in hundreds of thousands of beauty products like shower gels and toothpaste.

The problem with glitter and microbeads is that they are small enough to pass through water filtration systems, so they end up in the ocean and threaten aquatic life. The fear is they end up getting eaten by fish and other sealife, causing them harm, and then enter the human food chain.

Art therapy charity The Teapot Trust, which was set up by Evening Times Scotswoman of the Year Laura Young, banned glitter from its projects a year ago, partly because of environmental concerns, and stories of nurseries and schools around the country following suit are becoming more common.

Predictably, a few outraged moaners have called the banning of glitter another ‘step too far’ and the ‘nanny state’ taking over, but there’s a bigger, more horrifying picture here.

If you have been watching the gobsmacking Blue Planet II series on TV just now, you may know the statistics - more than eight million tonnes of plastic reaches the sea every year; there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050; 99 per cent of the planet’s seabirds will have eaten some; the average person who eats seafood swallows up to 11,000 pieces of microplastic every year….. it makes truly awful reading.

We have all become so used to plastic, it’s hard to imagine living without it. But there are biodegradable and environmentally friendly alternatives – in the case of glitter, for example, products made eucalyptus tree extract, or even lentils and rice.

Couldn’t the cash from the plastic bag charge imposed at check-outs be used to develop more of the same? Just a thought.