The hypocrisy of corporations and the plastic from our clothes

It’s in the corporations’ interest to blame the individuals for climate change and make them concerned about combating it. As reported in the investigation by the US National Public Radio and Public Broadcasting Service, oil and gas companies that produce plastic were never truly engaged in a real effort to recycle it but rather interested in good PR. Research from Changing Markets Foundation found that big polluters, like Coca-Cola, voluntarily promised to act on solving the plastic trash problem but at the same time were lobbying against regulations that would force them to recycle. Probably only 9% of plastic ever made was recycled.

The UK’s Marine Conservation Society will be trying to assess the environmental impact from the personal protective equipment – masks and gloves – used during the pandemic. It is going to use thousands of volunteers during this year’s Great British Beach Cleaning – an annual weeklong initiative that takes place in September.

The scientists from the University of California estimate that just by washing our clothes we have released into the environment around 5.6 million tonnes of plastic fiber since the 1950s. Half of this ended up in rivers and seas and a similar amount is a result of human activity just in the last decade. The increased plastic pollution from clothes comes from growing wardrobes. In 1990 we owned on average 8 kg of clothes, while in 2016 it was already 26 kg per person, globally.

Tire wear produces around 500 000 tonnes of tire particles annually in Europe alone. Globally it is estimated to account for almost half of road transport particulate emissions. Recently the group of masters studies from Imperial College London called The Tyre Collective created a prototype of a device that captures 60% of all particles from the vehicle’s tires. Their work was granted the James Dyson Award for student designing engineers.