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MICROFIBER POLLUTION & THE APPAREL INDUSTRY - Assessing the impacts of microfiber pollution in the environment

[] "Millions of metric tons of plastic are produced and discarded annually, much of which ends up accumulating in the marine environment. Multiple studies have shown widespread pollution on the surfaces of the oceans and within the water column, where small fragments and fibers are ingested by marine organisms. The toxicological effects of these small plastic pieces are not well-known. While the distribution and source of microplastics have been investigated worldwide, microsynthetic fibers shed from textiles during routine washing and their release from wastewater treatment plants into the marine environment are emerging topics of concern. The rapid increase of plastic production, the persistence of plastic materials in the environment, and the ease with which plastic waste moves into marine habitats all indicate the importance of assessing the impacts of microplastic pollution. This research project added to the current work being done to evaluate the magnitude and consequences of microplastic debris. In particular, our goal was to assist apparel industries to develop production and management strategies that will reduce their emissions of microplastic pollution."

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