Let’s talk about micro-plastics in textile industry.
What are microplastics?
Microplastics are small pieces of plastic, less than 5 mm (0.2 inch) in length, that occur in the environment as a consequence of plastic pollution. (Brittanica.com)
Where do they come from?
Nowadays bout 60% of our clothing is made of plastic materials.
Every time we wash them, tiny particles of plastic are being washed into our water systems, ending up in rivers, lakes and oceans. These fibers are so small, the majority can pass through conventional filtration processes and make their way into the marine environment.
They can be ingested by all sorts of marine wildlife and accumulate in the food chain. The amount of plastic entering our oceans every day is about one garbage truck of plastic a minute.
Our oceans are turning into a big plastic soup.
Microplastics come off of our clothing not only during washing but also when subjected to friction or higher temperatures. For instance, while running or other intense sport activity.
What can we do to reduce microplastic waste when washing our synthetic clothes?
Use special bags, which are designed to capture microfibers;
Use liquid detergent;
Lower washing machine temperatures;
Use gentler washing machine settings;
Only wash your clothes when you need to.
And then, why don't we simply consider garments made of natural fibers next time we buy clothes. There are plenty of natural fabrics in the market that are biodegradable such as linen, cotton, hemp and jute.