We’ve looked closely at single-use disposable plastics, and the products that we apply to our bodies and the BPAs that line the insides of cans, but here’s a new issue to consider, according to this week’s New York Times – synthetic clothing. This is an issue that hits near and dear to my heart, because at this point, I feel that you might have to pry my poly blend lululemon yoga pants from my cold, dead hands.
Or maybe just show me more photos of suffering sea creatures, and I could painfully switch to cotton. I could try.
Much plastic pollution news and data has been geared toward large, visible debris. But according to Mark Brown, a post-doc fellow at University College Dublin, 65% of plastic pollution is invisible, or nearly so.
“Researchers found that the proportions of synthetic fibers in marine sediments were akin to those found in artificial textiles. Examining washing-machine waste water, they found that 1,900 fibers can rinse off a single garment during a wash cycle and that those fibers look just like the microplastic debris on shorelines,” says the New York Times Energy and Environment Blog. “As the human population increases, they say, the problem will likely grow.”