Most glitter is made of tiny bits of plastic. These microplastics can make their way all over the natural world, from the tallest mountains to the deepest oceans. There, they can harm animals and pollute the environment. Scientists from the University of Cambridge in England recently discovered how to make Earth-friendly glitter.

This new glitter is made entirely out of cellulose, a substance found in plants. Cellulose is made up of microscopic crystals. When light travels through certain arrangements of these crystals, they shimmer. Crystal structures of other substances give butterflies, bird feathers, and beetles their colorful shine.

The cellulose crystals in the new glitter are arranged like a spiral staircase. By adjusting the size of the spiral, the scientists can change the color reflected by the crystals.