Microfibers: The Biggest Little Problem You’ve Never Heard of

Guess what!? We are making a new movie!  [November 2016 Update: Microfibers Movie is Coming!]

We are getting ready to blow the cover off a growing but little-known pollution problem: microfibers.

Plastic pollution has become one of the biggest and most well known threats to aquatic ecosystems, with media stories trumpeting the ‘Texas-sized garbage patch’ in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

But while we tend to think of plastic bags, bottles, packaging and other large Stuff as the source of the problem, scientists are increasingly concerned with the tiny plastics that enter our waters every day, which have a much higher likelihood of being eaten by animals at the bottom of the food chain and working their way up to us.The_Helm_IISG_Plastics_Story-cropped

With your support, we’ll make a two-minute animated ‘explainer’ video that will blow the lid off the growing problem of plastic microfiber pollution, reaching hundreds of thousands of viewers like we did with our microbeads video last year and moving them to action.

plastic-bioaccumulation-in-the-food-web

The threat from synthetic fibers is greatly amplified by the fact that these small plastics attract the toxins in the water around them, accumulating harmful chemicals that are then passed into small organisms eaten by small fish. Bigger fish, of course, eat the smaller fish — and that’s a big problem, not just for marine life, but for us; think sushi.

Our film can help move the public to action, and then we’ll work with clothing and washing machine manufacturers to ensure they take responsibility for the problem by funding research into solutions and committing to improvements that make this pollution a thing of the past.

***November 2016 Update: Microfibers Movie is Coming!***

Learn more:

Image credits:
Featured image, “Plastic Ocean” by Bonnie Monteleone, 2011, Plastic Ocean Project Inc.
Laundry-line cartoon by Anjanette Riley, for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Infographic from the UNEP report on marine litter.

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