Synthetic fabrics, a staple of the outdoor apparel industry, are ending up in oceans in the form of microplastics. Invisible to the the human eye, microplastics are tiny plastic fibers that shed from synthetic materials when cycling through the washing machine.Because of their size, microplastics are extremely difficult to filter out at wastewater treatment plants. In short, every time synthetic clothes are machine washed, microplastics are released into the water stream–polluting rivers and oceans across the globe. Often mistaken as food by fish, these long plastic fibers will wrap around fish’s internal organs and suffocate them, or will sometimes later make their way into the larger food chain. In 2011, ecologist Mark Browne released a groundbreaking study on the issue; he found that microfiber pollution had increased by 450% since the 1960s. When he contacted leading outdoor retailers such as Nike, Patagonia, and Polartec, to seek help researching the topic, no one agreed. Yet as more research comes to light, outdoor retailers are being forced to face the issue. In 2015, Patagonia commissioned University of California Santa Barbara to conduct a research project on the famed Patagonia fleece and its unfortunate capability to shed microplastics.Research found that a single fleece jacket sheds 250,000 synthetic fibers during a machine wash. Outside Magazine calculates that based on “an estimate of consumers across the world laundering 100,000 Patagonia jackets each year, the amount of fibers being released into public waterways is equivalent to the amount of plastic in up to 11,900 grocery bags.” The study also found that top loading washing machines loose five times more fibers than front loaders and that old jackets shed more than new ones. The outdoor industry is beginning to respond to microplastic pollution. Beyond commissioning the fleece research project, Patagonia has been working with Tersus Solutions, an innovative Colorado company, to create a washing machine that washes clothes with carbon dioxide instead of water.What to do while the outdoor industry catches up? Opt for clothing made of natural fibers and wash synthetics by hand.
EFL result 3 Daniel Ayala’s stoppage-time strike ensured Middlesbrough go top of the Championship after securing a 1-0 victory over Tony Pulis’ former club West Brom at the Riverside Stadium.It looked like Boro were going to rue missed opportunities from forwards Martin Braithwaite and Britt Assombalonga but centre-back Ayala showed them how it was done in front of goal to continue their great start to the season. GREAT NEWS Boro shaded a fairly uneventful first-half but nearly fell behind when Aden Flint’s rash clearance struck his own bar early on.Pulis’ men then began to turn the screw and should have had the lead on 34 minutes when Braithwaite’s ball found Jonny Howson who expertly laid the ball on a plate for Assombalonga – but the striker failed to anticipate his team-mate’s pass and the chance faded away.Assombalonga’s strike partner Braithwaite then had a guilt edge opportunity of his own when he latched onto Flint’s knock down only to blaze the ball over in the box. They carried on the good momentum straight after the break and Ryan Shotton nearly broke the deadlock when he headed a cross over the bar after good work by Assombalonga.Darren Moore’s side were then guilty of lacking composure when Dwight Gayle was put clean through on goal, however, the former Newcastle striker took too long to pull the trigger and Adam Clayton made a great last ditch block.It looked like the game was drifting into an uninspiring draw but Ayala had the final say when he controlled a lofted free-kick and fired the ball into the corner of the net.Replays suggest Ayala initially used his hand to kill the ball but the goal stood as Boro ended the evening on the Championship’s summit, while the Baggies lie seventh.LINE-UPSMiddlesbrough: Randolph, Ayala, Flint, Fry, Shotton, Howson, Clayton, Downing (Besic 72), Friend, Braithwaite (Hugill 81), Assombalonga (McNair 86)Subs not used: Konstantopoulos, Leadbitter, Fletcher, WingWest Brom: Johnstone, Adarabioyo (Dawson 69), Hegazi, Bartley, Phillips, Livermore, Brunt, Gibbs, Barnes (Morrisson 69), Rodriguez, Gayle (Robson-Kanu 83)Subs not used: Myhill, Burke, Barry, FieldCHAMPIONSHIP TABLE Gayle missed a great opportunity for the visitors in the second-half Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ Latest Champoionship News Hull defender MacDonald given all-clear after battle with bowel cancer Strugglers Wigan hold Blackburn to goalless draw in Championship impact Cardiff and Preston play out stalemate in Championship early kick-off ROUND-UP 3 Every Championship club’s best signing of the decade, including Taarabt and Dack 3 stalemate Leeds lose at Fulham, West Brom held, Charlton’s winless run continues goalless REPLY Ayala’s goal was all that separated the two sides Bannan penalty helps Sheffield Wednesday strengthen grip on play-off place