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Major Plastic Problems in Oceans From Clothes

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

microfiber pollution

Story at-a-glance -

  • Following multiple studies and environmental assays, a group of scientists set out to determine the extent of plastic pollution in the world's oceans, discovering much of the plastic microfiber results from washing clothes
  • Microfibers enter the ocean through sewage systems, presenting a challenge to marine life as the irregular shapes make it harder to excrete, contributing to intestinal blockage and chemical poisoning
  • Once in the waterways, the lipophilic properties of plastic attract other oil-based chemicals, such as flame retardants, bisphenols and phthalates, concentrating these contaminants up to 100,000fold and then carrying the pollutants to the next creature in the food chain, potentially landing on your dinner plate
  • Consider the opportunity to fix the system by selecting organic fabrics, refusing to participate in “fast fashion” and only buying clothes you truly need. The effect of “retail therapy” may help you feel relaxed for a short time, but the pollution generated lasts a lifetime

The food chain is an ordered series of organisms, each dependent on the previous as a source of food. In other words, herbivores eat plants to survive and carnivores eat herbivores and other carnivores. In the water, small fish eat plankton, and are then eaten by slightly larger fish, finally eaten by larger fish and then potentially ending up on your dinner plate.

This process has fed the planet from the beginning of time and isn’t changing anytime soon. However, what’s finally ending up on your plate is far different than it was just 70 years ago. As the Earth’s human population has grown and expanded, so have the innovations brought to market by manufacturers and large agrichemical businesses.

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