New research has found that microplastic fibers that pollute the Arctic can be traced to the washing of synthetic clothes by households in the United States and Europe.

Over 92% of the microplastics found were fibers, with 73% of those fibers coming from polyester. Clothes washing has been touted before as a significant source of microplastic pollution. 96 of 97 water samples taken in the area had microplastics in them.

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Source: Alex Dainis/YouTube

“We’re looking at a dominance of Atlantic inputs, which means sources of textile fibres in the North Atlantic from Europe and North America are likely to be driving the contamination in the Arctic Ocean,” said Peter Ross, at Ocean Wise Conservation Association in Canada, who led the study, in The Guardian. “With these polyester fibres, we’ve essentially created a cloud throughout the world’s oceans. The Arctic is, yet again, at the receiving end of pollutants from the south. It’s certainly cause for concern, when we realise that the Inuit people rely very heavily on aquatic foods.”

Source: Sky News/YouTube

Ross noted that manufacturers, individuals, wastewater treatment plants, and governments all must play a role to address plastic in the environment.

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The effect of microplastics on the body is unknown, but microplastics have been found from the depths of the oceans to the peak of Mount Everest.

Read more about microplastics in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter, and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners, using mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, and avoiding microbeads!

Sign this petition to demand that Biden and Congress work together to save our oceans and marine animals by banning single-use plastics throughout the entire United States!

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