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SAN DIEGO - Bio-based synthetic textiles and blended fibres containing synthetics do not degrade in the ocean as quickly as has been claimed, according to a new scientific study.

Researchers at the University of California San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography tracked the ability of natural, synthetic and blended fabrics to biodegrade in the sea for the study, published in the PLOS One peer-reviewed journal.

They found that natural and wood-based cellulose fabrics degraded within a month but synthetic textiles, including 'compostable' materials like polylactic acid (PLA), and synthetic fibres in blended textiles showed no signs of degradation after more than a year.

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