Christmas sweaters add to plastic pollution

A UK environmental charity named Hubbub found that 95% of 108 Christmas sweaters that it analyzed were fully or partially made from plastic materials.

The charity also found that two-fifths of Christmas sweaters are worn just once during the holiday.

And, one in three people under 35 buy a new sweater every year.

A spokeswoman for Hubbub described the Christmas item as “one of the worst examples of fast fashion” and warned that such consumer habits are a “major threat” to the planet.

where’s the plastic

Three-quarters of the Christmas sweaters tested were made with acrylic, which is a commonly used plastic fibre. 44% were made entirely from acrylic.

why’s acrylic bad

A 2016 study found that when acrylic is washed, it releases  over 700,000 microfibers into wash water, which is five times more than polyester-cotton blend fabric, and 1.5 times as many as polyester. The wash water–with the plastic microfibers–is sent to sewage treatment plants where it is treated. The tiny fibers are generally not filtered out, and eventually are discharged into waterways.

every year, about 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans from coastal nations

Microplastics have been found in more than 100 marine species, where they can block digestive tracts or pierce organs, causing death. In some cases, stomachs packed with plastics reduce the urge to eat, causing starvation.

Geek out on plastic fast facts. Then, should we stop using plastic? Check out our debate here.


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