Activewear: from the gym to the ocean floor

 

Whether it’s grocery shopping, knocking back lattes or anything else but going to the gym, yoga pants are the go-to choice for activewear lovers across the world. A new study from Carleton University in Canada suggests that yoga pants and other clothes made from plastics (nylon, lycra, etc) are making their way into waterways and causing unknown problems for our waterways and oceans.

When clothes made from plastic polymers, like yoga pants,  are washed, microfibres make their way from your washer to the ocean via drains, rivers and streams. From here, the microplastics are either eaten by aquatic life, float around the ocean or eventually sink to the depths. These plastics cause toxins to build up in food chains or cause animals or cause blockages in animal digestive systems.

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Samples of the microfibres found in a study from Carleton University

Each year, we make 322 million metric ton of plastic – that’s about 3/4 of the mass of all the people on Earth! Of this, 8 million metric ton makes it into the oceans from land. Microplastics are just part of a larger environmental disaster, where plastics will outweigh the fish in the oceans by 2050Many countries have banned plastic microbeads from cosmetic products, will yoga pants ever have the ban-hammer dropped on them?

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