In Your Closet

Clothing choices can cut down on microplastics

We don’t often think about plastic as it relates to our clothes, sheets and other linens. However, 64 per cent of the fabrics we wear every day are made of plastic, including polyester, nylon, acrylic, and polyamide.

What’s more is that every time we wash our clothes, up to 700,000 tiny pieces of plastic microfibre break-off, 40 per cent which end up in our rivers, lakes and oceans. In fact, every day in Canada, 370 kilograms or 135 tonnes of invisible microfibres enter our water systems.

By making changes to the clothing and linens we buy, the way we do laundry, and how often we do laundry, we can reduce the microplastic bloat found in our oceans.

Get Started

  • Choose clothing, bedding and towels made from natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, wool, silk and cashmere
  • Wash laundry in cold water (fibres tend to break down faster in warmer temperatures)
  • Cut back on the number of loads of laundry you do by only washing items that are actually dirty and filling the load
  • Use specially designed wash bags for synthetic materials to help reduce microfibres going down the drain
  • Invest in a filter designed to catch microfibres as the water flows out of your washing machine or add a laundry ball designed to catch tiny fibres to each load
  • Donate or consign unwanted clothing to extend its lifespan and avoid an untimely end at the landfill
  • Buy secondhand clothing or swap old clothes with friends and neighbours
  • Choose to buy fewer, more durable clothing items that are designed to last
  • Avoid the fast fashion trend by choosing garments you will want to use for years