Microplastic pollution is an ever-growing problem, with economic, environmental, and social consequences. Microfibres, tiny, plastic threads released during the washing of synthetic textiles, such as polyester (fleece), nylon, spandex, and more, make up 94% of this pollution. Microfibres are eaten by aquatic creatures – ultimately food for us – but first collect harmful chemicals, such as pesticides, persistent organic pollutants, and PCBs. These chemicals have stick to and build up on microfibres and have been linked to developmental delays, hormone disruption, diabetes, and cancers. What's worse - microfibres have been found in 83% of the world's tap water, as well as many other food and beverages. We are all eating our dirty laundry, and there are no regulations or tracking requirements on microfibre emissions.
Millions of microfibres enter waterways everyday and are incredibly difficult to remove due to their small size (less than 5 mm). Despite recent restrictions on microbeads (small plastic beads in exfoliating items, responsible for only 4% of microplastic pollution), no regulations exist for microfibres emissions. We want microfibre emissions to be tracked, reported, and labelled on the main contributors - washing machines and synthetic textiles – encouraging these industries to take responsibility for this problem. This reporting will drive industries to develop solutions to this problem and clearly communicate to consumers how many microfibres are released from their washing machine and from their clothing.
Help us demand that our governments require microfibre emission ratings for these industries.