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

Read More

About Article Author

Water Canada

Water Canada is an influencer, a networker, and a newsmaker. Their editors and researchers know the industry. More importantly, they know the people implementing plans and projects on the frontlines. Thousands of readers turn to Water Canada for exclusive, insightful content that speaks to Canada’s water expertise, connects the country’s decision-makers, and promotes better water management and stewardship of the world's most important natural resource. The publication continues to be a trusted and reliable source for more than 35,000 professionals who follow Water Canada in print and online.

Related Items

“E” vs “SG” in ethical investing: how sustainable is mollification-by-cherrypicking

In the great game of whack-a-mole that is capital raising in Canada’s oil patch, it must be frustrating, for those whose full-time job when there isn’t a global pandemic is whacking the moles of ESG criteria on which they feel their companies may be vulnerable to criticism and hence subject to ...

Did wind-generated electricity displace gas-generated electricity in Ontario in June 2019?

Financiers of green energy projects often claim in public filings that the energy generated by the projects they have financed has avoided some definite number of tons of CO2 emissions. Run the numbers, and you usually find they have assumed some annual capacity factor, say 35 percent in the case o ...

'A Climate of Change' Interview

My May 7, 2020 interview on the Calgary Climate Hub's 'A Climate of Change' discussing my new book and what actions people can take to help stop climate change. ...

Brilliant Light Power – Commercialization Status

by Daryl Roberts A potentially paradigm-shifting technology has been under development at an R&D firm in NJ called Brilliant Light Power.   For people monitoring the situation, the question currently is about the status of commercialization.   It is not a publicly held firm, but is in mid-stage ...

Market Update: Investors Optimistic as Global Economies Reopen

The quickest bear market in the history of the US S&P 500 turned into the best 50-day bull market rally in history in May. By market close on June 3, 2020, the S&P 500 Index was up 37.7% from its March 23, 2020 low. This bullish investor sentiment has been based on the continued decline in new coro ...

A deep retrofit of homes and buildings is the megaproject Canada needs

Ramping down carbon emissions from homes and buildings can help us rebuild Canada’s economy after the pandemic. ...

Rebuilding Canada’s economy includes energy resiliency in remote communities (blog)

This is the moment to create a roadmap for a society that is more resilient to these macro shocks – whether they are brought about by a pandemic or climate change. Canada’s response must support a more resilient, healthier economy that is competitive and shows economic strength in a decarbonize ...