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CALIFORNIA – A ground-breaking US study has highlighted the colossal scale of pollution from plastic microfibers which shed from synthetic clothing. Researchers calculated that in 2019, 4,000 metric tons – or 13.3 quadrillion fibres – were released into California’s natural environment. The plastic fibres – less than 5mm in length – are shed mainly during laundering, after which they enter oceans and waterways.

“The findings were nothing short of shocking,” said Alexis Jackson, fisheries project director at the Nature Conservancy in California, which commissioned the study from a research team at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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