My in-laws are on a road trip with dear friends way over on the other side of the country. Today they visited Old Sheldon Church outside of Beaufort SC.
Blah blah, beautiful setting, historical stories, now used for weddings, blah - Pertinent point is that my mother in-law collected and photographed plastic debris for me. Fifteen polyester flower petals. Big whoop, right? Well, turns out that polyester is plastic, and it sheds microscopic lint that you can't see, but it's there.
Ecologist Mark Browne of University College Dublin, and his colleagues collected samples of sand from 18 beaches, spanning 6 continents - Each sample contained microplastics (of course), but of those samples, 80% were polyester and acrylic fibers.
Many of these fibers come directly from our washing machines. A single polyester garment can shed hundreds of fibers per wash, and sewage treatment plants are not equipped to filter out these microscopic pieces.
So there's that.
I'm going to sit here a moment and contemplate the amount of clothing in this household alone, that contains synthetic fibers... this is going to take a while. In the meantime, could someone kindly invent the best ever filtering device for our washing machines - yeah, just real quick - that would be awesome.