Scientists from Cambridge University have developed a new glitter which is made from cellulose found in plants, fruits, and vegetables. The new glitter would be sustainable, non-toxic, vegan and biodegradable.
Current glitter doesn’t hold any of these desirable properties, as well as contributing towards plastic pollution. However this new glitter would have a more beneficial impact on the environment - as well as keeping it’s dazzling charm. The glitter is made from cellulose which is found as the main building block of cell walls in plants fruits and vegetables. The cellulose nanocrystals have an ability to bend light to create vivid colours, a process known as structural colour. As a result a wide range of bright colours could potentially available for the new, sustainable glitter, making it a perfect, environmentally friendly replacement for current glitters on the market.
In addition to having an array of environmentally friendly benefits, the glitter will be relatively easy to produce at large scale, as it would be made in the same way as paper. The process is also far less energy intensive, therefore it is arguably better for the environment compared to alternate methods. After being produced in sheet form, the material would then be ground into particles, small enough to create glitter pigments. The result - a biodegradable, plastic-free and non-toxic glitter.
These methods discovered by the researchers during this process has sparked potential for similar processes and materials to be used in numerous consumer products, such as paints and cosmetics, to replace any toxic pigments.