Did you know that 25% of the carbon footprint of our clothes comes directly from the way we maintain it? On top of that, majority of our clothes is thrown away just because it wasn’t maintained properly. In fact, laundry detergents can heavily damage the fabric. Also, these chemical cloth washers are bed for the environment, as you probably already know.
Substances from detergents, like arsenic or cadmium, pollute waters and consequently could be found in all living things on Earth.
Yes, there are environment-friendly detergents on the market but, as it turns out, washing of clothes is bad for the environment even with them.
What is the problem
A lot of clothes are made from synthetic fibres such as nylon and polyester, and the truth is – it is all plastic. Research published in the journal “Environmental Science and Technology” shows that synthetic clothes release billions of microplastic particles during washing.
These particles can easily find their way to water and enter the food chain. This can potentially lead that microplastics enter our organism. After taking samples from washing machine wastewater, scientists found that each synthetic garment releases up to 1,900 microplastic particles per each washing.
“We found that there was no sample from around the world that did not contain pieces of microplastic”, said Dr Mark Anthony Browne, lead author of the study.
For now, it is not completely clear what are all the ways that microplastic is affecting sea world or humans, but we can be sure that the more synthetic textiles we use, more microplastic will end up in our environment.
What can we do?
One thing that prevents emission of microplastic is using clothes that is made of all natural fibers. It would be too much to expect that the whole world will suddenly change the current practice.
On the other hand Dr. Knight, the new innovative colour catcher, contains hydrogel balls that prevents the fabric dye from polluting water.
In the future, this technology could be adapted for catching microplastics before they enter waterways. This may have a great impact in making sure that microplastics never pollutes our environment and water.