Ok, so we (my sister and I) are always going on about how plastic bottles aren’t actually recycled into new ones. But what happens to the plastic when you put a bottle in the recycling bin?
Answer: they often get down-cycled into new things, like carpets and fleeces. Sounds just as good, right?
Whenever you wash a product made from down-cycled plastics, up to 2000 plastic micro-fibres are released from the garment. These micro-fibres get washed down the plug and end up in the waterways, as they’re too minuscule to be filtered out by water management companies. So, they ultimately end up in the oceans, and stay around forever, along with the other micro-plastics and litter.
There we go, another red-herring in the world of recycling – or should I say, down-cycling. But there is, again, something that we can purchase instead of plastic garments. Look for alternatives like BAM (bamboo clothing) and other products made from natural materials. Natural microfibres, such as cotton and bamboo ones, biodegrade over time and won’t last forever, so they’re MUCH better for the environment. Once again, choosing carefully what we buy can make a big difference, and it only takes a few extra seconds to check the label.