Yoga Pants, Cozy Clothes May Be Key Source Of Sea Pollution
Yoga pants and other types of comfortable clothes are emerging as a source of plastic that are ending up in oceans and potentially contaminating seafood. Yoga pants, cozy jackets, sweat-wicking athletic wear and other garments made from synthetic materials shed microscopic plastic fibers — called “microfibers” — when they’re laundered. Wastewater systems flush the microfibers into natural waterways, eventually reaching the sea. Recent studies have shown that microfibers can end up in the stomachs of marine animals, including seafood, like oysters. This has prompted clothing company Patagonia to support research into microfiber pollution and promote information about ways to minimize microfiber shedding in laundry. Experts suggest that manufacturers of washing machines may need to be targeted next in efforts to reduce plastic waste in the oceans.