Did you know that each time you wash your clothes, tiny fibers-- so small that they can slip through water treatment filters-- escape into our waterways? Unfortunately, lower quality fabrics shed more than higher quality fabrics. In addition, synthetic (man-made) fibers are particularly problematic.
Plankton are at the bottom of the food chain: they are eaten by larger sea creatures, and eventually end up in our food. These teeny creatures have been found dining on microplastics, meaning that sea life that eat plankton unknowingly consume microfibers and microplastics, impacting their health and life span. To make matters worse, other toxic pollutants tend to accumulate on or around microfibers. Furthermore, ocean bacteria tends to emit more CO2 in the presence of plastic. And to top it all off, phytoplankton, microscopic plant life, are responsible for producing up to 50% or more of the oxygen we rely on to breathe. Microfibers can hinder photosynthesis, reducing their ability to produce oxygen.
Overwhelming, I know! Here's what you can do to help!
1. TELL YOUR FRIENDS. Share this blog with someone you love! The more people who know and care, the more positive impact we can make, together.
2. GET TO KNOW YOUR FABRICS. Polyester, Acrylic, and Nylon are the biggest ocean offenders. Check labels before you buy. As much as possible, consider high quality organic and sustainable fibers, like organic cotton and TENCEL™ Lyocell, when shopping.
3. WASH LESS. Not only does laundering less frequently extend the life of your clothes, it reduces the amount of microfibers that escape into the oceans.
4. WASH SYNTHETIC GARMENTS IN A GUPPYFRIEND WASHING BAG. These handy bags are designed to trap microfibers so they don't get rinsed down the drain!
5. PRESSURE YOUR FAVORITE BRANDS. Let them know you know about microfiber pollution. Tell them you'd love to see more organic fibers and less synthetic fibers in their assortment.
Last but not least, don't be tricked into consuming recycled polyester. Garments made from recycled poly can actually shed more microfibers and cause more harm than good.
We hope you learned something today! Have any questions about microfiber pollution? Let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org