Synthetic Microfibers Causing Pollution

In this week’s Georgia Cotton Commission update we want to discuss synthetic microfibers and their harm to the environment. Multiple studies have shown that microfibers from synthetic clothing are one of the leading causes of plastic pollution. One university study in particular has shown that these extremely small fibers are shed from synthetic materials, primarily synthetic clothing during the washing process, and are generally not visible without magnification. Once the microfibers are shed they can end up in the environment, usually in the ocean or rivers via wastewater without any visible effects on the environment. Only recently have studies shown that these microfibers are actually one of the leading causes of plastic pollution in the oceans. These studies confirm what many in the cotton industry have said for years: That cotton is a truly natural and sustainable crop that produces natural and sustainable products. Garments made from cotton are biodegradable and will return to a natural carbon state once placed in a landfill. To learn more about the benefits of cotton, visit our ‘Consumer’ page at

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