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If you’re someone who pays attention to environmental research you know that microplastics in our lakes and oceans is a huge issue. But I’ll bet you didn’t know that your clothes release microplastics that enter the water supply every time you wash them!
Your Clothes Release Microplastics Into the Ocean
Don’t worry, I didn’t either. In fact, I’ve been dealing with enough washing machine trouble today without finding this out. A blanket got twisted up in the seal and it’s pulling off. My washing machine is less than a year old so you can imagine I wasn’t impressed. Especially when I do probably 10 or more loads of laundry a week.
What Are Microfibers?
Microfibers are the tiny, synthetic fibres that are released off your clothing when you wash them. You don’t even see them and yet the are responsible for as much as 85% of shoreline pollution worldwide. You might have even had a taste – apparently they’ve been found in fish and shellfish that were meant to be eaten. Gross.
Every time you wash synthetics your clothes release microplastics in the way of microfibers into the water supply.
How can you stop microfiber pollution at home?
Well the best way to do that is to stop wearing synthetic clothing altogether. Yes, that means no more yoga pants. Synthetic clothing has all kinds of negative environmental impacts and might cause skin irritation. I know I sometimes react to synthetic fibres!
If you must wear something synthetic you can minimize the fibres released by washing in cold water, using liquid (non abrasive) laundry soap, and spinning things at a lower speed.
What are some synthetic fibre alternatives?
The good news is you get to wear some nice things if you switch to natural fibres. Here’s some fabrics that won’t release microplastics into the ocean when you wash them:
In our house we’re going to be choosing more natural fabrics when shopping for clothes. Another thing to keep in mind is the make up of your blankets and towels or anything else you wash regularly.