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With concern about microplastics growing worldwide, we're not surprised that retailers are finally taking notice about the damage to the environment.

Popular retailer Marks & Spencer have joined the eco-effort by banning glitter from this year's Christmas cards, wrapping paper, crackers and calendars.

The brand is aiming to be 100 percent glitter-free by the end of 2019 after testing a biodegradable alternative to glitter on plants and flowers.

The worry about single-use plastics such as straws, water bottles, takeaway cups and microplastics (tiny particles that cause huge pollution) has significantly risen after the prominence of environmental documentaries, school strikers like Greta Thunberg and consistent climate breakdown disasters.

Glitter is usually created from etched aluminium bonded to polyethylene terephthalate, a form of microplastic that can end up in the sea.

The guess is that up to 50 tonnes of microplastic particles have accumulated in the ocean, according to The Guardian.

According to campaign group 38 degrees, up to a third of fish caught in the North Sea contained microplastic particles, including glitter. 

M&S’s action on glitter and plastic is following eco-crackdowns by brands like Waitrose and Tesco, who are switching to plastic-free ranges or environmentally-friendly alternatives.

Aldi is scrapping plastic glitter from their 2019 Halloween range, and even Strictly Come Dancing is banning glitter from their programme. Music festivals and playschools are also taking action.

M&S is now providing recyclable Christmas stationary designs and minimal use of foil for festival sparkle.

Most of its boxed cards have also switched from plastic to card packaging, which is saving almost 50 tonnes of plastic.

1,000 tonnes of plastic packaging from across the business have been scrapped, and M&S aims to ensure all its packaging is widely recyclable by the end of 2022.

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Queens, listen up! Pre-drinks are about to get a lot more interesting as two of the most outrageous elements of popular culture combine to make the ultimate party game. 

Cards Against Humanity is no stranger to the odd unofficial spin-off. From Harry Potter to Disney the bad-mannered card game has undergone a few makeovers over the past few years – though we think this latest one might just be our favourite yet. 

Introducing Cards Against Rumanity. 

And yes, that is a RuPaul's Drag Race version of the beloved game. 

The cards feature various words and phrases used throughout the series such as  'Backrolls?', 'Fine art drag', 'A sequins dress', 'Voguing the house down', 'Puppets', and 'One hundred thousand dollars' – so we can only imagine all the hilarious combinations just waiting to be had. 

A set costs $29.99 (€24.79), and are available on amazon. However, as they don't currently ship to Ireland, you might have a hard time getting your hands on them. 

But never fear. There is an alternative. 

A similar, and much more affordable, set is available on Etsy for just £4.50 (approx €5.11). 

This option allows you to download a digital PDF version of the cards and print them out at your leisure. 

And while that might sound like a lot of effort – we can guarantee it'll all be worth it in the end! 

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If you're buying food today, or trying to top-up your Leap Card, or pay a bill you might run into a spot of trouble if you're a Bank Of Ireland customer. 

That's because the bank is experiencing 'technical difficulties,' and a lot of its cards simply aren't working. 

Twitter today has been flooded with frustrated folk who claim that they're unable to access funds via ATM withdrawals or electronic visa debit payments.

The institute said in a statement today: “We are aware some customers are experiencing technical difficulties using their visa debit cards. Please be assured we’re looking into it, and apologise for the inconvenience.”

The Irish Times reports that Bank Of Ireland’s stock was the worst hit by Brexit on the Irish stock market on Friday, having been down 25 per cent at one stage. Bank Of Ireland takes close-to a third of its earnings from the UK.

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If you've ever found yourself standing in front of the card section of the shop on your boyfriend's birthday, trying desperately to decide which card is least likely to make your boyfriend vomit due to its overly soppy nature, then you will appreciate the humour in these cards!

We don't know where you can buy these cards, but we might just make our own this February!

Whoever this card is for is a definite keeper!

Honesty is the best policy.

Always a fan of some toilet humour! 

Us girls have to put up with a lot, in fairness.  

This means a lot. 

True love. 

Exactly what every girl has thought at one stage or another! 

If you go to the bother of shaving your legs for someone, it's meant to be. 

Let's not go overboard.

A strange one! 

The stuff of romance novels. 

You gotta take the good with the bad…. 

Just sayin'. 

Everyone loves a pun! 

Awh! 

Again with the puns! 

You know what we mean. 

Love! 

Awh – kind of. 

Means a lot! 

It's not all about looks, y'know? 

For the techies among you! 

Love is blind. 

So true. 

 

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Sometimes you just have to stay in on date night. The reasons could be financial, maybe the weather is terrible or maybe you don’t want to leave the comfort of your own home.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with your date though!

There is only one rule to this being a success and that is: strictly no phones or laptops allowed. This will ensure you give each other your full attention and the night will be more memorable.

1. Have a movie night
Fresh popcorn, lots of sweets and a bunch of movies (one choice each).

2. Cook a meal
It’s no secret that food is sensual and that it is the way to many people’s heart so plan a fancy meal together, it doesn’t have to be expensive; there are plenty of economically savvy meals out there.

3. Listen to music
Take turns showing each other your favourite songs, cute! Just make sure you keep it kinda cool – Justin Bieber isn’t going to do you any favours.

4. Play cards
Play a game of Spit for the ultimate relationship game changer. If you lose and pound him in the face and he leaves, at least you know it could never have worked. You need to find someone who understands your passion for Spit (the game).

Other less dangerous card games for two include Gin Rummy or Shithead.

5. Make a ridiculously extravagant cake
Picking it out will be the most fun! We’re talking about a double-chocolate, triple-oreo, buttery, gooey type of cake here. Think ‘what would Nigella make’.

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