The main source of ocean microplastics

A washing machine on a pebble beach with plastic bottles and nets spilling out of the drum: an artistic interpretation of plastic pollution in our oceans

June 8 is World Oceans Day! 🌊 Did you know that the main source of microplastics in our oceans (35%) is synthetic textiles? 😱 Washing clothes made of synthetic materials releases microfibers, so if you've ever worn and washed polyester, rayon, nylon or acrylic, you've contributed to ocean microplastic pollution. A 2019 study by Ocean Wise estimated the average US household releases 533 million microfibers into wastewater each year.

That's probably not the news you wanted to hear today, but the purpose of World Oceans Day is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean!

Since we've all contributed to ocean microplastic pollution, let's focus on some solutions:

1️⃣ Studies have shown that washing clothes less often, with cold water, in fuller loads, and on shorter cycles can reduce microfiber shedding. These are easy ways to reduce your impact straight away!

2️⃣ You can level up by adding an external microfiber filter. We just started carrying an easy-to-install filter from PlanetCare—it's great for home washers.

3️⃣ If you do laundry in a laundromat or shared laundry space, consider using an in-drum microfiber catching device like the Cora Ball or Guppyfriend washing bag. These can also be used in home washers.

New reports of scientists detecting microplastics in human blood, human lungs, and even baby poop have us feeling 👎🏾. It's important we all do our part to minimize the amount of microplastics entering our water, air, and food chains.

For more information, feel free to read this informative and easy-to-understand document about microfiber pollution by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Photo by Alex Bamford

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