Friday 28 February, 18.29-18.45, Newcastle University – Ridley Building 2, room RIDB2.1.65
with Max Kelly, Newcastle University
Plastic is now ubiquitous in the marine environment with around 8 million tonnes of plastic waste entering the Ocean each year. The consequences of larger plastic debris are well described with devastating ecological impacts. However, the fate of smaller microplastics remains largely unknown. A major source of these plastics is laundry via the release of plastic microfibres when we wash our clothes. Our latest research shows that a delicate cycle actually increases the release of plastic microfibres compared to normal cycles. This presentation describes the life of a plastic microfibre, from today’s unprecedentedly high production of textiles, to what happens when we wash our clothes, how these plastics enter the environment, and their ecological influence.