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Opt to Act - Simple Action #23: Don't wash your jeans all month.

Join REI In making the fight for life outdoors part of your life with The Opt to Act Plan - 52 weeks of simple actions to reduce your impact, get active, and leave the world better than you found it. Full details can be found here.

Week 23: Don’t wash your jeans all month.

Each year, an estimated 1.5 million tons of microplastics end up in the ocean, and about 35 percent of those come from washing synthetic textiles, a 2017 report from International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources found. Yes, even just the act of washing your clothing is releasing tiny bits of plastic into the environment. The best way to curb your release of microplastics is to, first and foremost, wash your clothing less and when you do wash, avoid washing on delicate wash cycles. A Newcastle University study found that delicate wash cycles, which can use twice as much water as a standard cycle, release on average 800,000 more microfibers as compared to a standard cycle. Some additional tips: Invest in a filter for your washing machine and use a LANGBRETT Guppyfriend washing bag.

Take part: May 3–9, 2020

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
1 Reply

This is much easier to do while working from home! For obvious reasons 😅.


In all seriousness though, I had never considered that washing my clothes was releasing microplastics. Thanks for spreading the knowledge!