Clean clothes, polluted oceans

Blog 2509

The plastic problem 

Society is now waking up to the issues that surround plastic—how much we rely on it, how long it takes to decompose and how it ends up clogging up our environment and our oceans. But what is not so frequently talked about is the issue of microplastics, which currently contribute to over 13% of the total plastic waste found in global oceans. 

Tiny particles, huge problem

Lesser known still is that the single biggest contributor to this microplastic problem is microfibres—tiny particles less than 5mm in length that come from the plastic in synthetic fabrics, which shed from our clothing each time we do a wash. Synthetic fabrics that release microfibres are still on the rise, with approximately 60% of the clothing that we wear consisting of fabrics made from plastic such as acrylic, nylon and polyester.

This means that every time you do a wash, microfibres from your clothes will eventually end up in the ocean—with the number of microfibres released from a typical 5kg wash load of polyester fabrics estimated at over 6,000,000. 

So what can you do? 

Of course, you’re going to need to keep washing our clothes (you might lose a few friends if you don’t) and it’s unrealistic to think that you can eliminate all synthetic fabrics from your wardrobe —that’s a systemic change that needs to be tackled at the fashion industry level. 

But what you can do now is to adjust how you wash your clothes, by using a simple, easy-to-use PlanetCare microfibre filter cartridge, which can deal with a month’s worth of washing and will cut your microfibre emissions by a huge 90%. 

Not all change is easy. But this small action is. 

Become a Planet Care member today to sign up for your microfibre filter.