Stop Plastic Microfiber Pollution!
Most of us wear synthetic fabrics like polyester every day. Our dress shirts, yoga pants, fleeces, and even underwear are all increasingly made of synthetic materials -- plastic, in fact.
But these synthetic fabrics have a dirty secret: when they’re washed, they release tiny plastic strands called microfibers that flow down our drains, through water treatment plants, and out into our rivers, lakes and oceans by the trillions. These synthetic fibers are forming a plastic smog that is choking our oceans. They're even showing up in bottled water!
Last year, we released The Story of Microfibers, revealing that one of the biggest and most pernicious contributors to aquatic plastic pollution is washing our everyday clothing. Despite a flurry of activity by some companies, most clothing brands have failed to respond aggressively to this growing threat. Instead, they're trying to pass the buck by suggesting that we filter the water coming out of washing machines. But with 103 million washing machines in the U.S. alone, that's not a realistic solution.
Its time companies took responsibility for the pollution their products cause. That’s why we’ve helped to introduce first-in-the-nation legislation in California this week to address plastic microfiber pollution.
Our bill requires clothing companies to attach a garment label informing consumers that laundering synthetic clothing in washing machines causes plastic fibers to shed. [If you live in California, click here to call your assemblymember to ask them to support AB 2379]
This bill is an important first step towards solving the microfibers problem. By forcing manufacturers to own up to the pollution their products cause, we're raising the stakes for them to find a lasting solution. And by passing this bill in California, we'll be launching a scalable solution – just like the microbeads ban our Community supported in 2015, which started as a state proposal before becoming federal law.
Unfortunately, industry groups like the California Fashion Association are opposing this common sense solution and fighting the public's right to know. Add your name to this petition to call on those companies to take responsibility for the pollution their products create. We will also ask these companies for specific commitments so that we can objectively gauge progress and engage in serious and constructive conversations aimed at ending microfiber pollution.
Add your name today. Together, let’s tell the world’s largest clothing brands: “Eliminate your products’ microfiber impacts on the environment, right from the design of the clothing. Forget filters… it’s time to commit to real Solutions!"