Laundry in Canada and U.S. Releases Trillions of Plastic Microfibres: Study

Oct 17 16:10 2019 Print This Article

A study by Ocean Wise estimates that 878 tonnes of plastic microfibres are released from household laundry in Canada and the United States through wastewater treatment plants every year. This is the equivalent weight of 10 blue whales collectively into rivers, lakes, and oceans.

With microplastic pollution now understood to be an emerging threat to ocean health, the Ocean Wise Plastics Lab in Vancouver investigated one of the potential sources of this problem. The authors noted that the loss of fibres by textiles during home laundry may explain in part the abundance of microfibres found in the ocean.

The report was produced with the support of four outdoor retailers: MEC, Patagonia, REI, and Arc’teryx. It was also supported by Metro Vancouver and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Microfibre footprint

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