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Researchers Find Synthetic Fibers The Major Contributors of Environmental Pollution

Synthetic fibres are petroleum-based products, unlike natural fibres such as wool, cotton and silk, which are recyclable and biodegradable. 

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Synthetic fibres are petroleum-based products, unlike natural fibres such as wool, cotton and silk, which are recyclable and biodegradable.  Pixabay

Polyester and other synthetic fibres like nylon are major contributors of microplastics pollution in the environment, say researchers and suggest switching to biosynthetic fibres to prevent this.

“These materials, during production, processing and after use, break down and release microfibres that can now be found in everything and everyone,” said Melik Demirel, Professor at the Pennsylvania State University in the US.

Synthetic fibres are petroleum-based products, unlike natural fibres such as wool, cotton and silk, which are recyclable and biodegradable.

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Bacteria that consume plastics do exist. However, they are currently at the academic research phase and will take some time to gain industrial momentum. Pixabay

Mixed fibres that contain both natural and synthetic fibres are difficult or costly to recycle.

In the oceans, pieces of microscopic plastic are consumed by plants and animals and enter the human food chain through harvested fish.

In the study, Demirel suggested few things to prevent this: minimising the use of synthetic fibres and switching to natural fibres such as wool, cotton, silk and linen, even though synthetic fibres are less expensive and natural fibres have other environmental costs, such as water and land-use issues; large scale use of bacteria that could aid in biodegradation of the fibres for reuse; substituting synthetic fibres with biosynthetic fibres, that are both recyclable and biodegradable; and blending synthetic fibres with natural fibres to lend them durability while also allowing the blends to be recycled.

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Polyester and other synthetic fibres like nylon are major contributors of microplastics pollution in the environment, say researchers and suggest switching to biosynthetic fibres to prevent this. Pixabay

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Bacteria that consume plastics do exist. However, they are currently at the academic research phase and will take some time to gain industrial momentum.

The study was presented at the 2019 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in the US. (IANS)

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Maldives to Completely Ban the Use of Single-Use Plastics by 2025

The resolution was passed with 64 parliamentarians voting in favour in the 85 member House

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Maldives, Plastic, Parliament
The resolution was presented to the parliamentary floor by the Maldives Environment and Climate Change Committee following a special request made by students. Pixabay

The Maldives Parliament on Monday passed a resolution to completely ban the use of single-use plastics from 2025 in a bid to protect the environment.

The resolution was presented to the parliamentary floor by the Maldives Environment and Climate Change Committee following a special request made by students from 17 schools urging the Parliament for greater action on environmental protection, Raajje TV reported.

Maldives, Plastic, Parliament
The Maldives Parliament on Monday passed a resolution to completely ban the use of single-use plastics from 2025 in a bid to protect the environment. Pixabay

The resolution was passed with 64 parliamentarians voting in favour in the 85 member House. It banned the import of plastic bags, and the establishment of an alternative to plastic packaging for imports by 2025.

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The resolution also called for all single-use plastics in the country to be collected and re-cycled or re-used responsibly till the ban came into full effect. (IANS)