The wastewater treatment plans that textile factories have installed into their production system can only filter out some of the fibres and the rest eventually makes its way into the ocean
The microfibre strands found in our clothing are being washed into remote regions causing the water to become extremely polluted in places such as the Arctic Ocean, the North Pole, Norway, Canada and the US.
A study by a group of scientists posted in the Nature Communications journal showed how they collected samples from 71 different locations and found 40 microplastic substances per cubic meter of water and 92.3% of those microplastics contained polyester, reports CNN.
Dr Peter S Ross, a professor of earth, ocean and atmospheric sciences at the University of British Columbia, explains how the synthetic materials found in our clothing travel to all these remote places and that two-thirds of every clothing contains some amount of polyester, acrylic or nylon.
The wastewater treatment plans that textile factories have installed into their production system can only filter out some of the fibres and the rest eventually makes its way into the ocean.
This is becoming an increasing topic of concern due to its effects on marine life ingesting it and how it can affect the health of humans and other species who look at marine life as a source of nutrition.
Prof Ross also talks about clothing companies and how they should react to the clear message these results are reflecting. He adds on how they "also need to address concerns on fibres shedding around laundry and the lifetime of their products."
"This should underscore an intimate link with every single individual in North America, Asia, Europ, in the northern hemisphere and the far North, where we really shouldn't expect to find this sort of a footprint," concluded the professor.
With the global textile industry pumping out nearly 40 million tons of synthetic fabrics per year, it has become an emergency that needs to be addressed immediately.