Microfibers: The Next Frontier of Plastic Pollution and the Search for a Solution

Microfibers: The Next Frontier of Plastic Pollution and the Search for a Solution

This webinar originally aired on 15 November 2016.

Scientists are still beginning to understand the effects of plastic pollution on marine life who suffer injury and death through entanglement and ingestion of the synthetic material. Now we’ve discovered that there is a new microscopic form of plastic pollution entering our waterways from the washing of clothing that includes nylon, acrylic, and PET materials. The agitation and centrifuging occurring during the wash cycle releases micro- and nano plastic fibers into the wastewater stream that end up in sewers, rivers, and the ocean. This webinar will explore the cutting-edge science investigating microfibers from UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management informing us about the nature and threat of microfibers. In addition, an industry perspective on this new development will be presented addressing possible responses and solutions to the problem.

This webinar will be useful to government stormwater and solid waste management practioners, restaurant owners, and aquatic resource managers.

This webinar was presented by Elissa Loughman (Patagonia), Bess Ruff (UCSB Bren School) and, Angela Howe (Surfrider Foundation). The webinar was cosponsored by the West Coast Marine Debris Alliance, the EBM Tools Network (coordinated by NatureServe and OpenChannels.org), and MarineDebris.Info.

Comments

"Marine Debris" and "Micro Particles" are terms that help polluters by making the issue sound benign. Lets call it Plastic Pollution, Microfiber Plastic Pollution  and Marine Plastic Pollution.

The main goal must be for apparel companies to develop non polluting textiles and be  responsible for any pollution their material and design choices cause.

Any end of pipe capture like washing machines and water treatment should be a secondary strategy, which if implemented must be fully funded by the polluters  (apparel industry) costs for filtration should not be borne by consumers or communities. These strategies must also have 100% capture targets and be quickly scalable on a global level.

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