Read the full story in Boston Magazine.
Whether you know it or not, you’re polluting the ocean.
Each time you wash clothes made with synthetic materials—think polyester, rayon, nylon, and the like—as many as 1,900 tiny microfibers break off, flow through your washing machine drain, and continue on to waterways. Once in the water, they’re ingested by all forms of marine life, threatening both their health and yours. Consider this: In a 2015 study, 67 percent of species purchased from a California fish market were found to contain microfibers, meaning there’s a very real chance that plastic is ending up on your plate.
There’s not conclusive data about what, exactly, microfibers do to human health, but Rachael Miller, co-founder of the New England-based ocean conservation group Rozalia Project, says it’s safe to assume they’re not a desirable part of your seafood spread.