Cleaning clothes dirties oceans

Washing polyester fabrics sends plastics to sea

By Stephen Ornes, 16:50 PM October 5, 2011





Even people who live far from the beach can pollute coastal areas. All it takes are a washing machine and polyester clothes.


Polyester is everywhere: The plastic fabric is used to make fleeces, shirts, pants, furniture and blankets. It’s synthetic, which means it’s created from chemicals in a lab to resemble something natural. Scientists recently found that in the washing machine, polyester clothes shed plastic fibers. During the rinse cycle, these microscopic threads wash down the drain. ...

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