Tänä vuonna luettu 2 231 526 uutista.
This year 2 231 527 news read.

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.

The apparel industry is largely responsible for stopping microfiber pollution, yet it has been slow to respond, according to a report released Tuesday by Mermaids, a three-year, EUR1.2m project by a consortium of European textile experts and researchers. The report recommended changes in manufacturing synthetic textiles, including using coatings designed to reduce fiber loss.

Maria Westerbos, director of the Plastic Soup Foundation, an Amsterdam-based nonprofit and Mermaids' public outreach partner, urges the apparel makers and sellers to apply the report's recommendations.

"So far we have hardly seen any effort from the clothing industry to tackle the problem at the source," she said.

The Mermaids report is the latest research effort to quantify the environmental and health impact of microfiber pollution and offer potential solutions. Researchers studying plastic pollution started discovering microfibers in the early 2000s but it was not until a 2011 study, by ecologist Anthony Browne, that microfibers were linked to the apparel industry. He sought research funding from the apparel industry but received little support.

In recent years, additional studies revealed the enormity of the problem. It is estimated that a single fleece jacket can release a million fibers in a single washing. Numbers like that stunned the public, but only a few brands have launched or completed studies to determine how many fibers their products shed, or whether fibers found in the environment can be traced back to their products. None have announced design-based solutions that would result in products that shed fewer synthetic fibers, something that The Story of Stuff, an environmental group, called for in a short film earlier this year.

Canadian retailer MEC and outdoor apparel brand Arc'teryx recently commissioned researchers at the Vancouver Aquarium to develop a protocol for tracking synthetic fibers from the source - their apparel - to the ocean. The firms hope the protocol will become an industry standard that other brands will use as well.

Last year, Patagonia released findings from a lab-based study to quantify fibers shed from its products in the wash. However, the tests did not use detergent, which multiple studies have shown significantly increases fiber loss, so the results do not reflect real-world conditions.

Meanwhile, stopgap measures are emerging. A German company recently created Guppy Friend, a fiber-catching mesh bag for holding synthetic clothes while washing them. The inventors of another device, Cora Ball, recently raised just over $353,000 through Kickstarter when they sought only $10,000 to bring the product to the market. Cora Ball, tossed into the washer with the clothes, attracts and entangles fibers. But it's impossible to know at the moment how successful these new devices will be.

Source: The Guardian

Päivitetty/Updated: 13.05.2017




Tietoa Vastuullisuusuutisista

Vastuullisuusuutiset.fi on SoMe-kanava vastuullisille yrityksille ja organisaatioille.

Vastuullisuusuutiset.fi-portaalissa julkaistaan kotimaisia ja kansainvälisiä vastuullisuuden ja kestävän kehityksen uutisia päivittäin – 7 päivänä viikossa vuoden jokaisena päivänä kello 10.00 ja 17.30. Viikottain julkaisemme myös yhteistyökumppaneidemme parhaat käytännöt lukijoillemme.

Kello 10 ilmestyvän Vastuullisuusuutiset.fi-uutiskirjeen voi tilata kuka tahansa. Vastuullisuusuutiset.fi-uutisten toimituksesta vastaavat Crnet Oy ja CRnet Verkosto. Teknisestä toteutuksesta vastaa Metael Oy. Vastuullisuusuutiset.fi vastaava päätoimittaja on TkT Tuula Pohjola.

Lisää tietoa Vastuullisuusuutiset.fi-yhteistyöstä

About Us

Vastuullisuusuutiset.fi (CSR News) is a social media channel for responsible businesses and organizations.

Vastuullisuusuutiset.fi publishes national and international news about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainable development - every day of the year at 10.00 and 17.30. We also publish weekly best practice news from our partner organizations.

Anyone can subscribe to the Vastuullisuusuutiset.fi- morning newsletter free of charge. The news are assembled by CRnet Oy and CRnet Network. The technical execution is provided by Metael Oy. The Editor in Chief is D.Sc.(Tech.) Tuula Pohjola.