Since the launch of our newest course book, we’ve been looking for new ways to curb consumption and make an impact. Luckily, the Story of Stuff Project (who joined us for our annual EcoChallenge in 2016) is releasing a new movie this week on plastic microfibers, and what we can do to take action.
The Story of Microfibers launches Wednesday, March 1, and will explore how plastic microfibers are adversely impacting our oceans, marine biodiversity, and our own bodies. Microfibers and other small forms of plastic pollution absorb toxins found in the ocean, and some are consumed by microorganisms such as plankton. As these fibers move up the food chain, the toxins that have been absorbed bioaccumulate. As The Story of Stuff Project notes, “It turns out we might be eating our clothing thanks to a big, tiny problem called microfibers.”
The majority of clothing produced today is made from synthetic fabrics like polyester which is made from fossil fuel chemicals. When you wash those synthetic fabrics, tiny particles of plastic called microfibers are washed down the drain and released into the environment. Microscopic plastic particles like microfibers act like sponges in the ocean, soaking up other synthetic chemicals and organic pollutants. Studies have found that plastic particles in the ocean can be a million times more toxic than the surrounding water – and one study found plastic debris in 25% of fish purchased in the US.
So, what should we do about this issue? One place to start is by buying less synthetic fabrics, and only washing your synthetic clothing when necessary. Unfortunately, synthetic textiles are everywhere, and they’re only getting more popular. That’s why we need to come up with a lasting solution. Our friends at The Story of Stuff Project are shining a light on the microfibers problem with their new movie, The Story of Microfibers, and are calling on the clothing industry to fix it. You can add your voice here.
The film will be released tomorrow, and in the meantime, here’s the trailer: