This growing environmental hazard is hurting marginalized communities.

Multicolored clothing visible through the clear front of a white laundry machine.
Multicolored clothing visible through the clear front of a white laundry machine.
Mixed clothing in a laundry machine. Photo by Engin Akyurt.

Every time we do our laundry, an average of 9 million microfibers from our clothes are released into our wastewater treatment plants, waterways, and oceans. These tiny plastic fibers, a form of primary microplastic, are a growing threat to our environment and shed during the production, wash, and wear of our clothing. Microfibers are unique due to their linear density of less than 1 denier and shape that makes them easily ingestible by aquatic organisms and yes, you guessed it, humans. Microfibers are also particularly good at absorbing and transmitting persistent organic…


Why we must take action against the plastic pollution crisis.

A bright yellow trash can filled with empty plastic bottles and plastic waste.
A bright yellow trash can filled with empty plastic bottles and plastic waste.
Photo by pepe ceron-balsas on Unsplash

Plastic pollution is one of the biggest threats to the health and safety of our ecosystems as well as the human and wildlife populations they support. Plastics are extremely versatile organic polymers produced from raw materials such as oil and natural gas. More than 9 billion tons of plastic have been funneled into our environment and landfills since mass production began in the 1940s. While there is a demand for plastic in almost every sector, the packaging, construction, and textiles industries produce and generate the most plastic waste.

360 million tons of plastic were produced in 2018.

Audrey Cho

Audrey is an intersectional environmentalist, rising sophomore at Smith College, and fellow at Conservation X Labs. Find her on twitter @AudreyCCho

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