of how we are letting plastic pollute our oceans with micro plastics being found in fish destined for our dinner plates.
You may not be aware that the clothes we wear contain plastics, such as polyester, nylon, acrylic and polyamide. In fact, it is estimated that up to 65% of new fabrics are made of plastic.
Whenever we wash these fabrics they shed millions of tiny microfibers. These minute threads drain out of our washing machines, pass through wastewater treatment plants and end up in our seas and oceans.
So what can we do on a daily basis to cut down on this plastic pollution? Here are a few tips that can help:
• Wash at low temperatures. Lower temperature washes are less aggressive so are less likely to shake free any plastic fibres.
• Use special washing bags. If you put your clothes in a Guppy Bag or Coraball in your washing machine they will effectively catch any fibres they may shed.
• Fill your machine. A full washing machine will reduce friction between the items being washed and reduce the likelihood of shedding fibres.
• Use a front loader. Top loading washing machines have been shown in tests to be more likely to release fibres than front loaders.
• Cut spin speeds. Faster spins may dry clothes quicker but they also shake them up more making it more likely that they will shed fibres.
• Dry clothes naturally rather than tumble dry. Tumble drying is more likely to cause your clothes to shed plastic.
• Think about what clothes you buy. Polyester fleeces are one of the worst offenders, for example, so consider buying a woollen fleece instead. Generally, clothes are most likely to shed plastic fibres during the first few washes. Instead of buying new clothes on a regular basis, consider investing in better quality items that will last longer.
So by taking a bit more care when you wash your clothes you could actually be helping to save the planet!