A guide to plastic free living.

If plastic-bag bans have you giddy with joy, you carry a stainless steel straw or protein shaker in your gym bag and your favourite keep cup is a staple wherever you go, chances are you’re on the right track to eliminating plastic from your everyday life.

And while it’s no secret a vast amount of plastic ends up in our oceans, did you ever stop to think about the plastic you can’t see?
35of microplastics in the marine environment are fibres from synthetic clothing.

What are microplastics?

Microplastics. Those teeny tiny fragments of plastic often invisible to the naked human eye can have detrimental effects to the health of our ocean, and marine life too.

In fact, it is estimated that 0.6-1.7 million tons of microfibres are released into the ocean every year. Without every global citizen taking action, the amount of these <5mm in diameter particles is set to increase as consumption of plastics and man-made fibres in clothing rises.

What does my wardrobe have to do with microplastics?

Everything. What you buy, what you wear and what you wash can have a significant impact on the health of our environment.

Synthetic fibres, such as polyester and acrylic, are actually made from plastics derived from crude oil. When worn or washed they release thousands of tiny plastic fibres into the air and waterways. The figures vary depending on the fibre and detergent used, but research has found a typical 5-kilogram wash load of polyester fabrics released more than 6 million microfibres destined for the ocean.

65 million tonnes  of plastic were produced for textile fibres in 2016.
How to eliminate plastic from your wardrobe
It’s time for you and your wardrobe to go on a diet. A plastic diet. Here are some simple steps to say goodbye to plastic in your closet.

  1. Become a label turner and choose a natural fibre such as Merino wool where possible.
  2. Choose wooden or sustainable hangers over those made from plastic.
  3. Don’t wash after every wear. Wool clothes need less washing as they are resistant to both odour and stains. This also saves you time and money on your energy bill.
  4. Air dry rather than tumble dry.
  5. Care and Repair. Damaged your favourite sweater? Most rips and tears can be repaired, which will extend the life of your garment and save it from landfill. There are 21 billion tonnes of textiles sent to landfill every year. We can all play our part to nurture nature.
  6. No longer want your wool jersey because you’ve done too many rides and you’ve dropped a size? Pass it on to family or friends or organise a clothes swap. Wool clothes are investment pieces designed to last generations.

Identify one sustainable swap that you can make and work it into your routine. Then move onto the next. These small steps add up to creating positive impact.

Wool could be a solution for the global microplastics problem

As a natural fibre, wool does not contribute microplastic pollution into the oceans, with science showing wool and machine-washable wool biodegrades in the ocean.

See full article @ https://www.woolmark.com/environment/plastic-free-living/