What do yoga pants have to do with ocean pollution? It’s a lot more complicated and serious than any of us knew! Look in your closet, and count all your blankets, PJs, fleece jackets, athletic wear, blouses, and socks made with nylon, polyester, spandex, rayon and other synthetic textiles. Every time we wash these clothes, millions of microfibers are released into the water, get flushed from our homes, dumped into natural waterways, and eventually accumulate in the ocean. Researchers are just now becoming aware that these microscopic plastics are one of the biggest marine pollutants, effecting aquatic and marine life who ingest them. Microfibers can be found in the seafood we eat! Wastewater treatment facilities filter some microfibers, but still release a significant volume into the environment.
How can we stop this pollution? Until the apparel and textile industry, along with washing machine manufacturers and waste treatment plants develop technology to limit garment shedding and improve fiber filters, there are a few steps we can each take to reduce the environmental impact of wearing our favorite fleece jacket.
1) Buy high quality clothing and make it last. Low quality fleece sheds much more than high quality products. 2) Wash clothes less often, and invest in a front load washer (gentler on fabrics & saves water, too) 3) Use liquid detergent, as powdered soaps are abrasive, causing fiber shredding. 4) Buy clothes made from natural fibers such as cotton, linen and wool.
Learn more about microfiber pollution:
www.timesfreepress.com Thursday, March 16, 2017 page A5 Nation/Politics section;
Jennifer Kay The Associated Press
For the Earth Care Team,