Polyester clothing releases 1,000,000 microplastic fibers into the ocean, every day!

2018 a team from Plymouth University located in the United Kingdom spent 1 year studying what happened when polyester and acrylic fabrics were washed in different home washing machines, using different combinations of washing powders, to study the microfibers emission.

The team found that acrylic was the worst clothing, releasing as much as 1,000,000 tiny synthetic particles per wash, more than five times more than polyester-cotton blend fabrics, and more than 1.5 times as many as polyester.

Many different types of fabrics can have very varying levels of emissions,” said Richard Thompson, the Doctor of marine biology at Plymouth University, who ran the study with a Ph.D. student, Miss Imogen Napper. “We need to figure out why some types of [fabric] are releasing more fibers [than other fibers].”

All these microfibers go through domestic wastewater into sewer treatment plants where 80% of the tiny plastic fragments are recovered as part of sewage sludge bomb. All the rest passes through straight into rivers and eventually, oceans. {not good for fish } A document published in 2011 found that microfibers made up 85% of manmade debris on beaches around the world.

This microplastic problem, many studies suggest that it has the potential to poison the food chain, build up in animal’s organs’ digestive tracts, reduce the ability of some organisms to absorb energy from foods in the normal way and even to change the behavior of crabs; some studies show microplastics in humans.

A study University of California Santa Barbara, in the partnership with the company Patagonia, found for every wash of the average synthetic fleece jacket, 1.7 grams of microfiber was released, 90% of all clothing are made from polyester which is a huge problem.

These tiny plastics are eaten by many sea creatures, as they are so tiny, its estimated 12 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean every year, said Louise Edge, oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, from bottle caps to microplastics, people should think about the impact on sea life, the government needs to take action for change, we all need to be educated on the effects of plastics.

Some governments are already acting on plastic pollution. In the UK government has placed a ban on microbeads, these beads are in shampoos and scrubs, while in the USA they will be banned by 2018. We are not promoting that these studies should do something similar, said Miss Thompson. These, Clothing companies need to think about the fabric choice to ensure their environmental emissions are stopped.

Add Comment