Study: Washing clothes on cold setting can reduce microplastics in local waters

Read the full story in the Charleston Post and Courier.

New research from the College of Charleston sheds more light on an overlooked source of plastic pollution: the water sent to sewage plants. 

Wastewater doesn’t just include what’s flushed down a toilet. It incorporates any water that goes down a household or business’s drain.

The main source of plastic in that water from a home comes from washing machines: Laundering gradually breaks down synthetic fabrics.

That leaves tiny plastic fibers in the water that are washed away and end up at sewage treatment plants, said Barbara Beckingham, a professor at the College of Charleston.

Beckingham, along with four other authors, recently published a peer-reviewed study comparing how well area wastewater plants were able to filter out the plastics. 

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