Did you know that those leggings you have been living in for the last few months are harming the environment?
Swimsuits, leggings, anything made with synthetic fabric sheds micro plastics. When you wash them these micro plastics escape and end up contaminating our lakes, rivers and oceans.
Polyester, nylon, acrylic, and other synthetic fibers, all of which are forms of plastic, make up about 60 percent of the material used in our clothes worldwide. Synthetic fibers are cheap and extremely versatile. It’s what provides the stretch and breathability in athleisure staples like leggings.
Micro plastic fibers contribute to ocean plastic pollution in a subtle but pervasive way by leaching into the environment simply by being washed.
These tiny fibers can eventually reach the ocean. There, they’re adding to the micro plastic pollution that’s building up in the food chain and being ingested by all sorts of marine wildlife, and even us.
Micro plastics can be toxic to wildlife on their own, but they can also act like sponges, soaking up other toxins in the water. Worse, they can be ingested by all sorts of marine wildlife and accumulate in the food chain.
Think of all the people in the world washing multiple loads of clothing everyday. Think of all those leggings shedding micro plastics. Crazy right?
It’s estimated that in a typical wash, 700,000 fibers could come off. That’s alot of plastic.
The best long-term fix would be to fit all washing machines with better filters, but for obvious reasons that’s not cheap and not widely available yet.
So, what can you do?
One huge change you can make is to wash your synthetic clothing in a specially designed bag called Guppyfriend .
GuppyFriend was developed by a group of surfers and nature lovers to offer a solution to micro plastic pollution.
Designed to capture and retain micro plastics, it is made of tightly woven Polyamide 6.6, which is a recyclable plastic polymer similar to fishing line. You won’t lose any fibers from the bag itself because these are long-chain polymers that don’t break easily.
Not only does it capture broken fibers, it also prevents fibers from breaking which extends the lifetime of our textiles.
Place your clothes inside the bag before you wash. Fill the bag up to 2/3 and separate colors.
Guppyfriend will retail any micro plastics which you can dispose of property afterwards. After washing, remove your clothing and either line dry or toss them in the dryer. Don’t put the GUPPYFRIEND bag in the dryer!
To clean the bag out Guppyfriend recommends that you gather the fibers from the bag- like you would the lint in your dryer. Collect them in a closed container and place in the trash. The closed container is so that they don’t blow away and contaminate the environment.