Saturday, July 20, 2024

It Seems That Yoga Pants Are Killing The Planet: Here’s Why

There’s something sinister hiding in those stretchy, comfy outfits that we all — yes, admit it — love to lounge in more than sweat in. Microfibers, the tiny synthetic materials that make up yoga pants and fuzzy outdoorsy jackets, are ending up in the Earth’s waterways.

Gulf Coast researchers found that microfibers are shedding their way from our washing machines to the world’s waterways. University of Florida researcher Maia McGuire and her team found the plastic fibers in waters from south Texas to the Florida Keys.

As the Associated Press reports:

Studies of the Great Lakes and New York Harbor and its surrounding waterways found high concentrations of plastics pollution, including microbeads. McGuire’s data from Florida waters, compiled from 1-liter samples run through filters fine enough to catch microfibers missed by the trawls used in the larger studies, adds to the growing amount of research focused on plastic pieces that degrade but never really disappear.

It’ll take more research to find out what effect these microfibers have on wildlife and the ecosystem, but previous studies have found synthetic fibers in the stomachs of marine life.

The researchers hope that washing machine companies will get on board with making their products more efficient at preventing the microfiber shed — because there are only so many fish in the sea.

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