Tiny but dangerous

The Guardian: Single clothes wash may release 700,000 microplastic fibres, study finds. (September 27, 2016) “Tiny plastic particles released by synthetic fabrics can cause harm to marine life when they enter rivers and oceans.”

“Each cycle of a washing machine could release more than 700,000 microscopic plastic fibres into the environment, according to a study.
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A team at Plymouth University in the UK spent 12 months analysing what happened when a number of synthetic materials were washed at different temperatures in domestic washing machines, using different combinations of detergents, to quantify the microfibres shed.

They found that acrylic was the worst offender, releasing nearly 730,000 tiny synthetic particles per wash, five times more than polyester-cotton blend fabric, and nearly 1.5 times as many as polyester.”

So far, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot we consumers can do, except not wear synthetic clothing. However, there’s a company called Guppyfriend that is developing a washing bag designed to catch those microfibers. Here’s their Kickstarter page.

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