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PPC Webinar – Washed Up: The Invisible Threat of Plastic Microfibers
January 12 , 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm EST
Over 60% of clothing sold worldwide contains plastic—in the forms of polyester, acrylic, nylon, spandex, and more. Through regular washing and wearing, synthetic clothing sheds tiny plastic particles called “microfibers.” A single load of laundry can release over 9 million microfibers into our waterways. Many microfibers are so small they cannot be filtered by wastewater treatment facilities and ultimately end up in our oceans.
In our first webinar of 2023, we will explore how the ubiquitous nature of synthetic textiles is causing a massive and largely invisible plastic pollution problem. We will be joined by Meli Hinostroza, Co-Founder, Aya Eco Fashion & Arms of Andes; Dr. Andrej Kržan, Chief Scientist, PlanetCare; and Dr. Judith Weis, Professor Emerita of Biological Sciences at Rutgers University. The conversation will be moderated by Madeleine MacGillivray, Climate and Plastics Campaign Coordinator, Seeding Sovereignty.
Date: Thursday, January 12
Time: 2-3 pm PT | 5-6 pm ET
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Aya Eco Fashion & Arms of Andes
Meli is a Los Angeles-born Peruvian who has worked to bridge the gap between her ancestors’ heritage and the modern world by creating uniquely sustainable clothing made from the Inca’s most functional fiber, alpaca wool, and the softest organic fiber, organic pima cotton. With her brother, Rensso, they built a studio in Peru developing plastic-free clothing through their company “Arms of Andes,” a PPC Business Member. Her goals are to keep centering sustainability and spreading the word of what a real sustainable clothing industry should be. The siblings aim to redesign the fashion industry and educate consumers and manufacturers on how to choose and create sustainable and biodegradable clothing.
Dr. Andrej Kržan
Andrej holds a doctorate in chemistry and has been working in academic research for 25 years, focusing on the environmental aspects of polymers and plastics. He has coordinated several international projects and is a lecturer for waste management and polymer materials at the University level. Andrej joined PPC Business Member PlanetCare in 2018 with a wish to not just study an environmental problem but rather contribute to a solution for it. At PlanetCare, he is responsible for projects, external collaborations, and the laboratory.
Dr. Judith S. Weis
Professor Emerita of Biological Sciences
Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey
Judith is a Professor Emerita of Biological Sciences at Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey. She has published over 250 refereed scientific papers and a technical book on marine pollution, and has edited several books. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was a Science Policy Fellow with the U.S. Senate and a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Indonesia. She has been on advisory committees for U.S. EPA, NOAA (National Sea Grant Advisory Board), and the National Research Council. She also chaired the Science Advisory Board of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. She served on the boards of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, the Association for Women in Science, and the American Institute of Biological Sciences, of which she was President in 2001.
Climate and Plastics Campaign Coordinator
Madeleine is a lifelong climate activist, microplastics-focused science communicator, sustainable brand consultant, and native of Brooklyn, NY. She holds an M.S. in Sustainability Management at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies, and a B.A. in Environmental Policy from Barnard, having completed her undergraduate thesis on microplastics pollution at Columbia’s renowned Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Madeleine is the Climate and Plastics Campaign Coordinator at Indigenous-led Seeding Sovereignty, connecting environmental justice and the fossil fuel-to-plastic pipeline. Also an Ambassador and advisory board member of the 5 Gyres Institute, Madeleine specializes in microplastics pollution research and legislation. Madeleine communicates complex environmental issues with creativity, compassion, and empathy.
- Aya Eco Fashion
- Arms of Andes
- Book – Polluting Textiles: The Problem with Microfibres edited by Judith S. Weis, Francesca De Falco, Mariacristina Cocca
- Seeding Sovereignty
- Ocean Clean Wash
- Fashion Revolution
- The Fashion Act – We Demand an End to Fashion’s Race to the Bottom
- Legislation – Fact Sheet:The Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act
- Synthetic Fibers Discovered in Antarctic Air, Seawater, Sediment and Sea Ice as the ‘Pristine’ Continent Becomes a Sink for Plastic Pollution (Ritz Herald)
- Webinar – Unwoven: Phasing Plastic Out of Fashion (Plastic Pollution Coalition)
- The Invisible Threat: Microplastics from Your Clothes (Plastic Soup Foundation)
- Plastic Fashion – Wash. Rinse. Repeat … Right? (5 Gyres)
- The Contribution of Washing Processes of Synthetic Clothes to Microplastic Pollution (Nature)
- A Review on Microplastic Emission from Textile Materials and its Reduction Techniques (Polymer Degradation and Stability)
- Microplastics from Textiles: Towards a Circular Economy for Textiles in Europe (European Environment Agency)
- Your Laundry Sheds Harmful Microfibers. Here’s What You Can Do About It (Wirecutter)
- Book – Unraveled The Life and Death of a Garment by Maxine Bedat (Penguin Random House)