“We found that there was no sample from around the world that did not contain pieces of micro-plastic.” The smallest fibers could end up causing huge problems worldwide. Dr. Browne added: “Most of the plastic seemed to be fibrous. “When we looked at the different types of polymers we were finding, we were finding that polyester, acrylic and polyamides (nylon) were the major ones that we were finding.”
The data also showed that the concentration of micro-plastic was greatest in areas near large urban centers. As a result, Dr. Browne his colleague Professor Richard Thompson from the University of Plymouth, UK carried out a number of experiments to see what fibers were contained in the water discharge from washing machines.
“We were quite surprised. Some polyester garments released more than 1,900 fibers per garment, per wash,” Dr. Browne observed. “It may not sound like an awful lot, but if that is from a single item from a single wash, it shows how things can build up.” -BBC
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