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30 Mystery Industries That Are the Largest Buyers of Glitter

1. Explosives

Microtaggants.

Multilayered ‘microglitter’ added to all commercial explosives.

Simple to batch trace, on site, AFTER the detonation, using only a microscope.

Use dynamite for illegal purposes, and leave evidence as clear as a fingerprint.

Law enforcement probably doesn’t want this fact circulating.


raydoctor

2. The Food We Eat

I immediately thought of processed food. Lol

lithr1el

3. Toothpaste

Here’s an article that all but confirms it’s Crest toothpaste: https://www.dentalbuzz.com/2014/03/04/crest-imbeds-plastic-in-our-gums/

The article says people got mad about the specific plastic they were using around the time this was published (2014) and they were looking for a suitable alternative. Wonder when those huge glitter orders started coming in?

The math seems to add up too, though can only get rough estimates. I took the number of units sold of Colgate (80.7 mil) and the ratio of their sales to Crest in 2018 (256/177) as well as the amount of toothpaste per tube (170 g) to estimate that crest makes 4.4*107 lbs of toothpaste per year. Assuming .01% of toothpaste is glitter (look at it, this seems like a low estimate) they’re buying ~4.4 thousand lbs of glitter per year. Didn’t see a number in the article for the volume of biggest sales, but since their minimum is 10lbs this seems reasonable for the highest amount perhaps, given that I think the estimate of how much of toothpaste is glitter was low (could go up to .1%, and then they’re buying over 40,000 lbs). I do believe that was just US sales too, so still could be much higher (couldn’t find numbers for international sales).

yazzledore

4. Til Death Do Us Part

I’ll go ahead and confirm for you that the funeral industry, as far as I know, and I have very knee deep knowledge of the funeral industry, is not buying any glitter

Edit: elbow deep may have been a better term. And while there are definitely some caskets that are painted with an automobile glittery sort of paint, I don’t think that would use “glitter” glitter in the typical “glitter” sense. The only large source of potential glitter I can think of would HAVE to be embalming fluid, and I’m 99.999% sure there’s no glitter in embalming fluid.

TooMuchPretzels

5. Cars and Trucks

People guessing the automotive industry— why would they want to keep it secret, though? It’s already very obvious they use glitter in their paint.

The way the article describes it, it seems like the biggest purchaser is something people would be shocked about.

AgentDaleBCooper

6. Master Batches

According to a glitter production company

“The main use of aluminum glitters is in the industrial production and processing of plastics where they are used in the production of ‘master batches’. Various parts of everyday household appliances (eg vacuum cleaners, coffee machines etc.) are made from plastic materials produced using ‘master batches’.”

doesnteatpickles

7. Not the Funeral Industry

Made an account just to type this. I am in the funeral industry (10 plus years) and while I myself run a clean and ethical business, I know there is a stigma in this trade. HOWEVER, I do feel obligated to defend my turf, and state that the one thing any funeral director doesn’t want near their funeral home is fucking glitter. It comes on flowers, or clothing, or on poster boards or picture collages, and gets FUCKING EVERYWHERE. You vacuum the fucking glitter particles adapt and become airborne, and 2 weeks later you’re bringing a family in for a first viewing on their grandfather who was a war vet and hardcore biker and all the sudden they’re furious because the fucking glitter particles manifested themselves all over his casket. FUCK glitter, IT AINT US.


randomthrowawaay4532

8. Military Secrets

My guess would be the military – chaff to reflect a lot of light and radar, and protect aircraft from missiles. This fits the criteria of (a) being secretive, (b) not looking like glitter exactly, and (c) “you’d be able to see something”

Another option might be fireworks?

prototypist

9. The Birth of Glitter

I acrually worked at a factory that used glitter in their products (personal care products)

It came as a giant wheel of hard plastic (I am assuming it is all FDAapproved types because these products are for your face), and I had to stand in this little booth with a respirator and ear muffs on, and as the product came down the conveyor belt I would pull the trigger on the little machine and it would spin the wheel of plastic and it would spray the glitter shavings into the product out of the nozzle I was holding, and then it would go through a sort of salamander like oven (not nearly as hot, but it would melt the glittet into the product so it was suspended instead of just redting on top) and then it would go through a cooler before being boxed and shipped.

I know this doesn’t answer the OP, just some insight into the world of making glitter.

BabyBundtCakes

10. Rocket Fuel

Fuel. I’m guessing Rocket fuel.

Those plastics would burn beautifly.

Those metals would burn hot.

The emissions would be horrible.

dave_v

11. Sandy Beaches

I want to revisit beaches. What about those private white sand beaches that major corporations charge millions of dollars a year to let you come sit at the beach? If their sand sparkled just a little bit more than someone else’s beach, wouldn’t that be nice? I can imagine some hotels or cruise lines or whoever doing stuff like that. And it checks all the boxes.

myrachel

12. Dollar Dollar Bills!

I immediately thought US paper currency! Go check your wallet – it’s pretty shinny….

sarw1157

13. Chemtrails

The cling ability… drop large amounts of glitter at high altitudes… what might cling to it? Water molecules! And that would create clouds! And it would not be recognizable as glitter!

I believe that this is the answer; it is used in cloud seeding and weather modification.

This might be what all the “chemtrail” nonsense is actually about.

Occams-shaving-cream

14. Clean Bodies

I think soap – shampoos and body washes definitely have a shininess to them that doesn’t seem natural.

J4N3D03

15.

The “you’d see something” is telling. It suggests that the glitter is visible, but you can’t immediately tell it’s glitter.

That eliminates any use case where it’s being used for its material properties.

Glitter could be ground into a fine powder. Silver colored glitter would add a nice glimmer without impacting the color too much.

The industry also doesn’t want you to know it uses glitter. That suggests it’s a consumer product with a reputation to protect.

The industry is also large enough to be a major buyer of glitter. It’s not a niche market.

Modern day glitter is made from plastic. It could be melted, although it would lose its aesthetic value.

Some ideas:

Glimmering spray paint

Glimmering makeup

Artificial rocks for landscaping or aquariums

Soaps and shampoos

Ajreil

16. Uncovering the Secret

I don’t know how to respond properly- as this my first Reddit response, but after reading your post, along with others, I think I made have uncovered the “secret”

“Gas and aroma barrier properties” finally made me think it could be -Deodorant – well antiperspirant to be specific.

The cling property would help to keep the active ingredients in contact with your skin longer.

The industry wouldn’t want it known, as some/many consumers would not knowingly put deodorant on themselves.

Also- have you ever found an old dress or shirt in your closet with glitter pits? Usually unwashed clothing- like a dress you wore once and never had dry cleaned.

vernaveravin

17. Disney

It’s disney of course!

Should see their stock rooms. Folks talk about asbestos being a hazard, if they ever tore disneyland down it would need to be tented and all glitter removed! hah. Anything imploded there would probably end up with glitter plumes covering the western united states.

mohavewolfpup

18. Cleaning Nuclear Waste

Friend of mine in college worked on a nuclear submarine and said they used glitter extensively to train cleaning nuclear waste.

I think glitter has a lot of potential military applications but I can’t imagine they’re THAT extensive.

Money is a good guess.

JustGlyphs

19. Identification Cards

Legal identification like passports and drivers licenses? And they can’t say so because it would compromise security if the people that make fake documents knew?

I’m leaning towards something to do with security and proprietary tech.

lostexpatetudiante

20. Macbook Pro

Looking closely at my 2015 Macbook Pro, and it could easily be pulverized glitter.

This one makes the most sense to me because they’re supposed to look like high quality metals, so they wouldn’t want you to know it’s just a coating of glitter.

moody_dudey

21. Medical Industry

Really late here but what about the medical or pharmaceutical industry? I know there are devices inserted into bodies made of all kinds of surprising materials (copper, ceramic, etc) and I think people would be pretty weirded out to know they’re being, to some degree, implanted with glitter.

-ondine-ondine-

22. Cleaning Products

A quick google search turned up the following glitterex product, among many other ‘unconventional’ yet widespread glitter solutions.

Polyquart® 149 is an aqueous solution of an acrylic copolymer that can be used as a polymeric additive to provide convenience claims for hard surface cleaners, such as bathroom, kitchen, glass, car, and all purpose cleaners. Polyquart® 149 cleans without leaving a residue for a more sparkling surface shine. Surfaces treated with this product also resist soap scum and grease making cleaning faster and easier. Incorporating Polyquart® 149 into products such as glass cleaners provide an anti-fog benefit.

Edit: my bet is on Ajax or some other cleaning chemical giant.

glitter_cino

23. Electronics

My guess is electronics chassises, like cell phone and tablet casing. I bet they are usually dull or full of filler material that doesn’t come out evenly shiny so they get coated with fine glitter to make them seem more solid.

Toynbee1

24. Smoking Glitter

This is going to get buried since I’m late to the party. But my guess is that it’s the cigarette industry. Look at a pack of cigarettes. They are covered in (not glaringly obvious as glitter) copious amounts of glitter. With how many packs are sold, I’d guess that cigarette packages create the largest market for glitter.

Fifty4FortyorFight

25. Microplastics

The fact that she said you wouldn’t know it was glitter leads me to think that whoever is buying from them isn’t buying tons and tons of craft glitter.

They could be purchasing one of two things. The first could be the sheets of mylar they use to produce the glitter. The catch with that is, why not just buy your mylar sheets from Dupont? It’s not like they’re gonna be cheaper from Glitterex, who probably has to purchase from Dupont as well. If it was mylar, however, theres no shortage of industries it could still be. They use it for emergency blankets, weather balloons, electronics. But, I don’t think that’s it.

The second thing they could be purchasing is a different type of non-shiny glitter, if that makes sense. Whatever company or industry is using it, it’s not going to be obvious. It’s not going to be shiny and full of craft store glitter. So it could be a company or industry that’s interested in the properties of glitter, but doesn’t want something shiny. Additionally, glitter is labeled as a microplastic, so googling industries which use microplastics may narrow it down.

Edit: Another thing to consider is why would we be shocked by the use of glitter? The two main reasons would be either the environmental impact, or because we’re unknowingly consuming it.

JackP133

26. Hitting the Slopes

Ski resorts? Put glitter into snow machines so that manufactured show appears more glittery, more magical.

BlackKnightsTunic

27. Anti-Counterfeiting

So glitter has a property where it can be traced back to what batch I came form. I would bet it’s used as an anti counterfeiting measure. If glitter can’t be replicated it would be perfect to use in money. It would be secretive and there is a lot of paper money in the world.

Also resort sand as another commentator said. It would need a lot of glitter and there would probably be a lot of backlash if people found out resorts where dumping that much plastic literally in the ocean.

TinyRoctopus

28. Tin Roof Rusted

It’s hard to overlook exactly how much glitter is used in and around the immediate environs of the Love Shack. One needs only visit the place to see it’s simply everywhere. Glitter has been observed on the front porch, in the hallway, and even on the mattress (which makes showering later quite a challenge, I assure you!) Some observers even have noticed glitter on the highway! There does not appear to be a consensus on exactly why so much glitter is used, although some insiders have posited that it may be an attempt to divert attention away from the structure’s tin roof which, reportedly, is rusted.

MysteryRadish

29. Fracking

It’s used in fracking and gets pumped into the ground. They use different color glitter to be able to connect a drill hole project to unpredictable runoff down stream.

RememberWhenEye

30. Painting the Road

Reflective road paint? Don’t know why they’d want it to be a secret, though….

But, Occam’s Razor here is car paint. Maybe it’s a ‘secret’ because they brand it as ‘metal flake’, ‘metallic’ or something equivalent. Battleship Metallic sounds tougher than Grey With Glitter. I had a 2014 Carbon Steel Metallic VW GTI that sure looked like it had glitter in it when viewed in direct sunlight.

clydetorrez