National Trust wants green alternative to microfibre-shedding fleeces – Daily News

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#NationalTrust, #wants, #green, #alternative, #microfibre, #shedding, #fleeces The National Trust is seeking alternatives to the fleeces worn by its 10,000 employees, amid rising concerns over the shedding of plastic microfibres and their harm to the environment.Recent studies have shown that garments made from polyester, including fleeces, shed hundreds of thousands of tiny fibres every time they are washed, polluting waterways and ending up in the digestive systems of birds and aquatic animals.  These plastic fibres have also been found in common food items, from seafood to table salt and honey. Now the conservation charity, which also sells fleece items to its 5 million members, is reviewing the use of these potentially polluting materials.  Share this article Share 113 shares In a statement, the National Trust said: ‘As a conservation charity we’re committed to finding ways to help our members and supporters reduce their environmental impact.’We have responsible sourcing standards for all our products – which set out what we expect on quality, packaging, environmental management and social responsibility, as well as material specific standards – and we work with suppliers to ensure that sustainable and well managed standards are in place.’ A study by Italian scientists published last December found that up to 300 fibres per litre escape in the waste water from family washing machines and that synthetic clothing is 16 times more damaging for the environment than microbeads.The Italian National Research Council also found that just one 5kg (11lbs) load of washing can create 6 million to 17.7 million plastic microfibres.  Part of the solution, say experts, is to use liquid detergents which cause less friction and break off fewer fibres, and to put on shorter washes at lower temperatures.Ahead of this week’s meeting at the American Association for the Advancement of Science,  Melik Demirel, professor of materials science at Penn State University, laid out the dire effects of microplastics on the environment. Speaking to The Times, he said: ‘Microplastics are harmful to our ocean and aquatic life. ‘Ingesting them can prevent animals from consuming their natural prey, leading to starvation and even death. ‘We have to minimise the use of polyester.’   More than 1,500 companies represented by the the European Outdoor Group (EOG), and the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), including fleece manufacturers such as North Face, Jack Wolfskin and Patagonia, said in a joint statement: ‘We believe it is our responsibility to support and facilitate a unified effort among our member companies – as well as among other key industries and sectors, including the fashion industry, the textile industry, chemical manufacturers, the home appliance industry, and water treatment facilities – to drive the collection of data that is necessary to better understand the sources and causes of microfibre release, and to implement appropriate solutions that are based on sound science.’As such, the global outdoor i

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