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Published on Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Review shines new light on textile microplastics

Written by John Mowbray

Wiki, Microplastic particles influence in Perch Larval

BRISBANE – Researchers from Australia and Norway have today published a comprehensive literature review on the current state of knowledge on microplastic fibres derived from the global textile and clothing industries.

The work is a part of increased efforts to better account for the use-phase of textiles through updated Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) given that the impacts of microplastic textile pollution in the environment are still not well understood.

The new report says that some estimates suggest that as much as 20 – 35 per cent of all primary source microplastics in the marine environment were fibres from synthetic clothing, and that amount is said to be increasing.

The review, which is published in English and Norwegian runs to just under 50 pages and offers recommendations for the textile industry to reduce microfibre pollution including reducing overall production and consumption of clothing; improving consumer practices in the use phase of synthetic garments and the replacement of synthetic fibres with natural fibres where possible.

The review was commissioned by Australian Wool Innovation and Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC).