Do you want to eat your own clothes?

Well tough luck, it's happening people.

The scary world of plastic microfibres is the focus of Hubbub's latest campaign - #Whatsinmywash - which looks at how microplastic particles from our manmade clothing are affecting our food, drink and health.

Georgina Wilson-Powell 7 June 2018

According to research released by Hubbub, the environmental charity, 44% of us are unaware that plastic microfibres are released into our waterways through our washing machines - and these micro particles then end up in our fish, our food and our drinking water.

Half a million tonnes of plastic microfibres a year contribute to ocean pollution – that's 16 times more than the plastic microbeads from cosmetics (which were banned earlier this year).

Do you know what's in your wash?

Did you know that synthetic clothes are actually made of plastic? 

44% of us don't make the connection between a rise in manmade clothing (synthetic clothing now accounts for 60% of all clothing produced) and a rise in microplastic particles in the ocean.

And it's a pretty big connection.

An estimated 35% of primary microplastics entering our oceans are released through the washing of textiles and studies have found these fibres in our food from mussels and table salt to honey and beer. 68% of us are concerned and want to see more research into this plastic pollution issue.

Trewin Restorick, CEO of Hubbub said: “There is also an urgent need for more research and action at an industrial level – from exploring better filter systems in water treatment plants and washing machines to producing and selling clothes which are less likely to shed microfibres. It is critical that more is done to explore the potential impact on our health of eating food that contain these plastic particles.”

5 things you can do to stop plastic microfibres getting into our water

  • Buy higher-quality clothes which are more durable and you can get more wears from. Synthetic clothes in landfill are a growing source of microplastic pollution because they gradually break down into micro sized plastic particles.
  • Wash clothes only when you need to (see our feature on designers who are making clothes to be washed less).
  • Wash clothes at a lower temperature (30 degrees C). This will prevent them from wearing faster which can lead to more microfibre release.
  • Wash a full load and wash on a shorter, gentler cycle; this reduces friction on your clothes which causes microfibres to shed and clothes to wear.
  • Avoid the tumble dryer, it will wear your clothes out increasing the likelihood of microfibre release on the next wash. 

For more information head to

Meet more people who care about plastic pollution in the pebble pod

Georgina Wilson-Powell 7 June 2018

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