(Pixabay)

Your laundry could be hurting the oceans, study finds

71 per cent of microplastics in Metro Vancouver waters come from clothing

When’s the last time you thought about how you wash your clothes?

It’s something you should consider, according to a joint study from Ocean Wise and Metro Vancouver, because the way you do your laundry could have negative effects on ocean wildlife.

The study, published last week, found that 71 per cent of what ended up in the region’s wastewater plants were fibres such as polyester and modified cellulose, or rayon.

READ MORE: Scientists find microplastics in B.C. water samples, launch campaign

READ MORE: Research needed on impact of microplastics on B.C. shellfish industry

Although wastewater plants filter out nearly 99 per cent of the 1.8 trillion microplastic particles that go down the drain in Metro Vancouver each year, a “significant amount” still makes it into the oceans.

“Every time clothing is washed, tiny strands of fabric break off and go down the drain,” said principal investigator Dr. Peter Ross, vice-president of research at Ocean Wise.

“Research has shown that microplastics in the ocean are being mistaken for food by zooplankton and fish, raising concerns about impacts to their health.”

The study authors found that people could reduce how much their clothing sheds in the wash by:

  • Doing laundry less frequently when possible
  • Using front-loading laundry machines
  • Using cold water
  • Using less soap
  • Installing a lint trap or lint filter on your washing machine’s discharge hose

@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Helicopter deployed during busy night for Campbell River Search and Rescue

Two incidents in one day ‘not rare’: CRSAR manager

Bylaw enforcement office opens in downtown Campbell River

‘Checkpoint for RCMP’ meant to increase safety

Tossin’ cars around the track at Saratoga Speedway

By Terry Guest A beautiful summer night combined with 60 race cars… Continue reading

Council reps all leave regional district meeting over pending water rate lawsuit

Campbell River and SRD facing litigation from Area D residents over water rate hikes

Marlene Wright will seek to keep her seat on council in upcoming election

‘We got a lot of good things done over the past four years, and even more started’

BC Games’ Athletes Corner: What’s your favourite pump up song?

Check out what’s playing in the earbuds of BC Summer Games athletes before they compete

BC Wildfire update on Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

Zone 6: Rugby star Maggie Banks carries family legacy to BC Games

Shawnigan Lake student and Coquitlam native following her parents to the national program

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on popular B.C. river

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating in the summer is inherently dangerous

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

UPDATED: Anti-pipeline campers digging in as eviction deadline expires

The City of Burnaby had ordered the Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters out for violating bylaws

Trump was taped talking of paying Playboy model: AP source

Source says former personal lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded discussion prior to 2016 election

Most Read