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The National Trust is seeking alternatives to the fleeces worn by its 10,000 employees, amid rising concerns over the shedding of plastic microfibres and their harm to the environment.
Recent studies have shown that garments made from polyester, including fleeces, shed hundreds of thousands of tiny fibres every time they are washed, polluting waterways and ending up in the digestive systems of birds and aquatic animals.
Fibres - Food - Items - Seafood - Salt
These plastic fibres have also been found in common food items, from seafood to table salt and honey.
Now the conservation charity, which also sells fleece items to its 5 million members, is reviewing the use of these potentially polluting materials.
Statement - National - Trust - Conservation - Charity
In a statement, the National Trust said: 'As a conservation charity we're committed to finding ways to help our members and supporters reduce their environmental impact.
'We have responsible sourcing standards for all our products – which set out what we expect on quality, packaging, environmental management and social responsibility, as well as material specific standards - and we work with suppliers to ensure that sustainable and well managed standards are in place.'
Study - Scientists - December - Fibres - Litre
A study by Italian scientists published last December found that up to 300 fibres per litre escape in the waste water from family washing machines and that synthetic clothing is 16 times more damaging for the environment than microbeads.
The Italian National Research Council also found that just one 5kg (11lbs) load of washing can create 6 million to 17.7 million plastic microfibres.
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