According to foreign media new atlas, abandoned water bottles and fishing nets are some common examples of marine pollution, but the problems related to plastics are not limited to the debris that people see. During the washing cycle, our clothes shed a lot of micro plastic fibers into the waste water, and scientists have now tried to quantify them. It is estimated that millions of tons of these synthetic fibers have entered the water since 1950. < / P > < p > although the impact of the washing cycle on the environment has never been accurately measured, it has begun to attract more and more researchers’ attention to understand the true extent of plastic problems. For example, a study earlier this year showed that a short period of cold water washing cycles can minimize the amount of fiber shed from clothes, while another study last year explored how to use sound waves to separate fibers from wastewater. < / P > < p > to investigate the problem globally, scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, extracted data from global data sets on clothing production, clothing use and retention, washing habits, and wastewater treatment. The team examined the period from the first large-scale use of synthetic fibers in 1950 to 2016, and calculated that a total of 5.6 million tons of synthetic microfibers were discharged into the environment through washing machines during this period. < / P > < p > “if you look at these numbers, you can see a huge increase in the production of synthetic garments, and thus increase the pollution of synthetic microfibers.” Roland Geyer, a professor of industrial ecology and one of the authors of the paper, said. < / P > < p > what surprised scientists was not just how much plastic waste it produced, but where it ended up going. Although the team knew that about 2.9 tons had been washed into the marine environment, they found that almost 2.5 million tons of plastic waste had entered the land environment. This is because, in the process of sewage treatment plant, everything except the smallest micro plastics will be involved in the sludge. After being treated, these semi-solid materials become fertilizers and improvers in large quantities. < / P > < p > “so it becomes a ground pollution problem,” Geyer said. “We’re just turning it into a different environmental pollution problem, not really solving it.” < / P > < p > the team believes that the best way to solve this problem is to focus on capturing these fibers from the source. Milder washing cycles, or lower water temperature washing cycles, are several ways to do this, but a built-in filter that collects fibers during the washing cycle can also be one of them. < / P > < p > understanding the sources of these fibers and their pathways in the environment will help fill some of our knowledge gaps around plastic pollution, but there is still a lot to learn, especially when it comes to the impact on organisms. < / P > < p > “there’s a huge unknown,” says sangwon Suh, a professor of industrial ecology. “The production of micro plastics and microfibers is quite huge, and it is still rising. If it continues, there will be great changes, and the consequences are still uncertain. That’s why it’s worrying. ” Global Tech

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