WASHINGTON, D.C.—A recent report from Bloomberg explores why lawmakers in New York and California are pushing for warning labels on garments made with synthetic fibers like polyester. This stems from concerns over recent studies that synthetic garments ‘shed’ microfibers into water systems when washed.
Bloomberg points to recent a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information that found some synthetic garments are capable of releasing as much as 1,900 microfibers when washed. Many of the remnants, the report notes, are so small that they aren’t filtered by washing machines. This potentially leads to fibers entering waterways, impacting aquatic life. Both bills would require garments made of more than 50 percent synthetic material to carry an additional tag warning buyers of this hazard.
Despite the concern, sources in the report are split on whether the move would be beneficial. Some argue that adding the label would help improve discussions on protecting waterways, while others contend that the studies are still not conclusive enough to make the call.
The bills follow a continuing trend of state lawmakers looking to curb waste and bring sustainability into frame. Earlier this spring, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo joined the ranks of state leaders asking for a ban on single-use plastic bags.
To read the full story, visit https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-01/man-made-fabrics-have-state-lawmakers-vying-for-warning-tags.