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Fluffy rivers: how our clothes can harm rivers and the oceans

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posted on 31.05.2022, 12:23 authored by Thomas StantonThomas Stanton, Matthew Johnson, Rachel Louise Gomes, Paul Nathanail, William MacNaughtan, Paul Kay
Microplastics are one of the most well-known types of environmental pollution. A microplastic is any piece of plastic smaller than 5 mm (about the size of one of the circles on top of a Lego® block). Microplastics come in a variety of shapes and they can be eaten by even the smallest animals, blocking their stomachs and intestines. Many of the clothes that we wear are made from microplastic fibers. These fibers are released from our clothes when we wear and wash them, and they can eventually end up in the environment. We collected water samples from three rivers in the UK over 12 months, to see if they contained microplastic fibers. All the rivers contained clothing fibers, but most of the fibers were not made from plastics. Natural fibers made from materials like cotton (from plants) and wool (from sheep) were much more common than plastic fibers.

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Frontiers for Young Minds

Volume

10

Publisher

Frontiers Media SA

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Frontiers Media under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

26/04/2022

Publication date

2022-05-25

Copyright date

2022

eISSN

2296-6846

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Thomas Stanton. Deposit date: 30 May 2022

Article number

743943

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