Every day, billions of sharp, invisible fibers are making their way out to our oceans and air, and into our water, wine, beer, and cells.
How much plastic is your washing machine sending out to sea?
"It’s no secret that too many of the plastic products we use end up in the ocean. But you might not be aware of one major source of that pollution: our clothes.
Polyester, nylon, acrylic, and other synthetic fibers — all of which are forms of plastic — are now about 60 percent of the material that makes up our clothes worldwide. Synthetic plastic fibers are cheap and extremely versatile, providing for stretch and breathability in athleisure, and warmth and sturdiness in winter clothes."
Will clothes companies do the right thing to reduce microfiber pollution?
"Over the past few years, evidence has been mounting that synthetic textiles such as polyester and acrylic, which make up much of our clothing, are a major source of pollution in the world’s oceans. That’s because washing those clothes causes tiny plastic fibers to shed and travel through wastewater treatment plants into public waterways. These microfibers are sometimes inadvertently gobbled up by aquatic organisms, including the fish that end up on our plate."
15 Ways to Stop Microfiber Pollution Now
"Think about all your clothing made of acrylic, nylon, and polyester. Yes, that means fleece, trousers, blouses, socks, and even your beloved yoga pants. Did you know? Every time you wash these synthetic fabrics, millions of microfibers are released into the water. Microfibers are too small to be filtered out by waste treatment plants, so they end up in our waterways and oceans, where they wreak havoc on marine animals and the environment.
Plastic fibers are now showing up in fish and shellfish sold in in California and Indonesia for human consumption. And one paper showed that microfibers are responsible for 85 percent of shoreline pollution across the globe. How can we stop this pollution?"
Ben Lecomte's historic swim across the Pacific Ocean is a feat that can’t be missed. Join us as we dive into the most extensive data set of the Pacific Ocean ever collected. Learn about the technology the Seeker crew is using to deter sharks away from Ben and measure the impact of the long-distance swim on his mind and body. Ben's core mission is to raise awareness for ocean health issues, so we’ll investigate key topics such as pollution and plastics as he swims closer to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, discover potential consequences from climate change, and examine how factors like ocean currents can impact his progress along the way.
Seeker explains every aspect of our world through a lens of science, inspiring a new generation of curious minds who want to know how today’s discoveries in science, math, engineering and technology are impacting our lives, and shaping our future. Our stories parse meaning from the noise in a world of rapidly changing information.
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