Sometimes scientific language really buries the news, like this study talking about "cellulose nanocrystals" and "renewable plant-based colloidal particles" and "photonic films."
What it really means is researchers have come up with biodegradable "eco-glitter" made from plant cell walls that can replace the plastic-aluminum mixture used now.
Now we're talking.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge say they can make plant-based glitter that sparkles as much as the current plastic and aluminum formulas.
In the journal Nature Materials, they say they've developed techniques mimicking the natural processes used to color butterfly wings and peacock feathers. And they say it can be made at an industrial scale.
"Conventional pigments, like your everyday glitter, are not produced sustainably," said professor Silvia Vignolini, the paper's senior author. "They get into the soil, the ocean and contribute to an overall level of pollution. Consumers are starting to realize that while glitters are fun, they also have real environmental harms."
The scientists say they want to form a company to finish commercialization but see the "vegan" pigments as having a smaller environmental and social footprint.
They say current pigments use mica, which is sometimes mined using child labor, and titanium dioxide, which has been banned as a food additive in the European Union over toxicity concerns.
"We believe this product could revolutionize the cosmetics industry by providing a fully sustainable, biodegradable and vegan pigment and glitter," Vignolini said.
But they do caution one problem can't fixed: It will still scatter around your home and be as annoying to parents as it's ever been.