Campaign for Wool has teamed up with environmental charity Hubbub to launch a new awareness campaign to help consumers reduce the impact of washing their garments, as well as call on the industry to take action to tackle the microfibre problem.

The #WhatsInMyWash campaign comes as Hubbub released new research that 44 percent of the public are completely unaware that microfibres are released into our waterways when we wash our clothes, which often ends up in our food.

The survey of more than 2,000 people across the UK also revealed that 44 percent of Brits also didn’t realise that synthetic fibres such as polyester, acrylic or nylon are actually plastic, and the two organisations are hoping that this new campaign will highlight the environmental and health impacts of synthetic clothing.

Trewin Restorick, chief executive of Hubbub said in a press release: “Plastic microfibres are ending up in our waterways, ecosystems and in our food and drink and we don’t yet know what impact this will have. The issue is complicated and the messages are confusing. Our research suggests that levels of knowledge and awareness around microfibres amongst the public are low, so today we’re launching some clear actions that consumers can take to help reduce the amount of microfibres released from household washing.

“There is also an urgent need for more research and action at an industrial level – from exploring better filter systems in water treatment plants and washing machines to producing and selling clothes which are less likely to shed microfibres. It is critical that more is done to explore the potential impact on our health of eating food that contain these plastic particles.”

According to the charity, half a million tonnes of plastic microfibres are released into the ocean each year, 16 times more than the plastic microbeads from cosmetics, with the washing of textiles contributing to 35 percent of the total microplastics entering the oceans.

To help consumers, Campaign for Wool and Hubbub have launched a series of tips to help reduce the number of microfibres released into our waterways, including buying higher-quality clothing that is more durable, washing clothes at a lower temperature, avoiding the tumble dryer, as well as using a full load and wash on a shorter, gentler cycle to reduce friction on clothes, which causes microfibres to shed and clothes to wear.

 

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