“Felix, I have something for you,” Orak said and handed over the parcel to him.
“What is it?” Felix asked. He opened the parcel. “Oh, it’s glitter!”
“Thank you, Orak, I love it,” Felix said, “But glitter is harmful to the environment. It is made of toxic materials or microplastics. Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic.”
“Don’t worry about the environment, Felix, and enjoy your glitter,” Orak answered, “because this is an eco-friendly (not harmful to the environment) glitter! It is made from plants!”
“How is that even possible?!” Felix said.
“Nothing is impossible with science,” Orak liked to brag.
Felix rolled his eyes, “Just tell me about the eco-friendly glitter.”
“Scientist Silvia Vignolin and her team’s inspiration came from the African plant Pollia condensata. It grows iridescent blue fruits known as marble berries. Being iridescent means the fruits have bright colors that change in different lights, similar to glitter,” Orak said.
“It is caused by cellulose in the plant. Cellulose is a type of fiber found in every plant cell wall. The cell wall is an outer non-living layer that supports cells in plants. The cellulose in Pollia condensata’s fruits reflect light to create a metallic blue color,” Felix said.
“Yes, so the team thought if plants can make it, why can’t we?” Orak said.
Orak continued, “They used cellulose from wood pulp to prepare a watery mixture. They poured it onto a plastic sheet to form films. When the cellulose fibers were tweaked, they changed colors. Thus, long and shimmery ribbons, similar to glitter, formed. The ribbons can be ground to create glitter.”
“A plant-based glitter will be non-toxic and environmentally friendly,” Felix approved, “It’s a genius idea.”