Please do not wash your 'plastic' polyester sportswear. Here's why?

A study at VU University Amsterdam in 2012 estimated that laundry wastewater is sending around two billion synthetic microfibres (polyester / nylon) per second into Europe’s waters.
Of course, wool and cotton clothing sheds fibres, too, but these materials are biodegradable. .Plastics synthetic fibres from polyester apparel contain potentially harmful additives and can absorb toxins, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), that they encounter floating in waterways—and then get ingested by small organisms, crustaceans, and fish. These particles can accumulate in the animals’ guts and tissues, potentially weakening immunity or disrupting their endocrine systems. 

New research shows that microfibres are even more abundant in our lakes and rivers than microbeads from shampoo and body wash, which have been banned in seven US states. 

Leading sportswear and outdoor brands are largely ignoring this significant environmental problem with their clothing products. However, progress is taking place in Europe, where a new research consortium called Mermaids, funded by the European Commission and promoted by the Netherlands’ Plastic Soup Foundation, is dedicated to reducing microfibre shedding by 70 percent. They are working to develop a process that can trace a polyester or nylon thread back to its point of origin by identifying the fingerprint left behind by manufacturing dyes and chemicals. The plastics in medical implants go through a battery of certifications before they’re used in human bodies. Why shouldn't consumer plastics undergo equally rigorous trials to determine their impact on aquatic ecosystems?


No comments:

Post a Comment