Did you know that a synthetic scarf sheds hundreds of thousands of tiny plastic microfibres every time you put it through the wash? Plastic microbeads have received a lot of attention lately as an easily avoidable source of pollution in our oceans, but it turns out that microfibres are equally culpable when it comes to contributing to the plastic soup.

Just like microbeads, microfibres can enter the food chain, as they wash from our laundries into rivers and oceans, contaminating water and food sources or being mistaken for food themselves. According to research carried out by the Plastic Soup Foundation (PSF), Italy’s National Research Council and Polysistec and LEITAT from Spain, 65 per cent of shrimp catches in the North Sea contain synthetic fibres.

Mermaids: Ocean Clean Wash have produced a video explaining the situation and what you can do about it. Watch the video here.