The Story of Stuff: Microfibers from washing clothes, another ocean pollutant

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Life & Soul Magazine

The Story of Stuff’s latest film is explaining how the tiny bits of synthetic fibers washing off clothes – think polyester yoga pants, fleeces and underwear even, among others – are creating an environmental catastrophe in the oceans.

These microfiber pieces are smaller than a grain of rice, measuring less than 5mm in length, which mean they cannot be filtered out by washing machines or even waste water treatment plants.

According to The Story of Staff, these microfibres pieces get flushed out into waterways and oceans, where they act like little sponges, attracting and absorbing other toxic chemicals around them, like motor oil and pesticides. Eventually they climb their way up the food chain.

Sixty percent of the fabric manufactured globally in 2014 was polyester. The athletic wear sector, which manufactures fleeces, yoga pants using polyester for instance, is the fastest-growing one in the fashion world.

The industry has known about…

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