From single use plastics to microplastics, there are 9.5 million metric tons of plastic released into the oceans every year, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Additionally, petroleum-based microfibers make up 35% of the primary microplastic pollution.1 There is growing public awareness of how textiles are contributing to the accumulation of microplastics in the world’s water bodies. What goes into the aquatic environments ends up in the food we eat and the water we drink, and there is now evidence of microplastics in every part of the food chain.2 As you might know, the nonwovens industry is a big player in the use of petroleum-based fibers, and it’s time to take action.
Cotton Incorporated is dedicated to learning more about this global problem and finding solutions. The Cotton Research and Development Corporation and Cotton Incorporated partnered with North Carolina State University to conduct a two-year study to test the biodegradation rates of four fiber types: cotton, rayon, polyester, and a cotton/polyester blend.
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