Plastic clothes in landfills and oceans
If we buy a t-shirt that is made of plastic (whether that be polyester, acrylic, nylon or another synthetic fibre), we're contributing to plastic waste; even if we wear it a dozen times, keep it for a couple of years and then decide to donate or recycle it. Why? Because approximately 25%
of donated clothes end up in landfill (largely due to people donating damaged clothes – and the first rule when it comes to donating is: if clothes aren't fit for you to wear, then they're not fit for anyone else
). Plus, only a meagre 1%
of clothes we send to be recycled are actually turned into new garments - partly due to polyester being so difficult
to recycle - whilst 87%
end up in landfills (the other 12% are turned into mattress stuffing and cloths).
Having polyester sitting in landfill is harmful to the environment because, as plastic has been designed to last for a long time, it doesn't tend to decompose too well, meaning it can take up to 200 years for clothes containing polyester to break down in landfills. Even when we wash our clothes, synthetic plastic microfibres are released
into the water system and end up in the ocean. So, whether it's during or after we've used our polyester clothes, they're continuously harming land and sea.