Sunday, December 21, 2014

Each time you wash your clothes is to pollute the ocean

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The problem of plastics that pollute the ocean is not new and has been scientifically studied and documented. The origin of most of the plastic waste that can be found in the ocean is obvious, but one of the pollutants with a higher degree of penetration is practically invisible to the human eye â€" the plastic bead.

The source of these small pieces of plastic, ranging from plumbing and are too small to be destroyed in the water treatment plants â€" are products of hygiene and cleaning. However, a little suspicious of these plastic microspheres are garments made with synthetic fibers.

After studying the microspheres in the coast lines in 18 different locations on the planet, the ecologist Mark Browne found that 85% of synthetic materials accumulated in these places were microfibers that corresponded to the type of materials found in synthetic clothing â€" which means our wardrobes and washing machines are two of the main culprits for the oceanic pollution.

The study of Browne â€" "Accumulation of Microplastic on Shorelines Worldwide: Sources and Sinks", published in 2011-has major implications both for the garment industry as to the conservation of the oceans. One of the main conclusions of the study is the fact that a single piece of synthetic clothing could set about 1,900 plastic microfibers every time it's washed. Taking into account the millions of synthetic clothing that are washed daily around the world is easy to imagine the scenario.

The quantity of small pieces of plastic that goes into the ocean is alarming and, as Browne suggests, "a large portion of plastic microfibers found on marine eco-systems derive from the sewers as a result of domestic laundry", cites the TreeHugger.

Part of the solution to the problem, as the ecologist advocates, must come from industry and from the brands of clothes, through the production of best synthetic textile not containing thousands of plastic microspheres.

Foto: Oliver Liria/Creative Commons

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