Europe teams up to tackle textile microplastics

A group of leading European textile associations have signed a cross industry agreement with counterparts in the soap and detergents sector in a bid to combat the release of textile-related microplastics in the aquatic environment.

The European Textile and Apparel Confederation (EURATEX), the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products (A.I.S.E.), the European Outdoor Group (EOG), the European Man Made Fibres Association (CIRFS) and the Federation of European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) aim to share both knowledge and industrial research to develop a common set of methods to evaluate and develop a reliable harmonised test method to identify and quantify the types of textile fibres present in water and the environment.

The move is a voluntary collaboration, which has been formally endorsed by the European Commission.

This comes on top of a newly published literature review this week by researchers in Australia and Norway, which identifies key concerns about plastic microfibre release from textiles and suggests a number of recommendations including the establishment of an effective LCA to combat this widespread problem, which is now gaining significant media traction.

Ecotextile News first reported on this potential problem with synthetic textile microfibres back in 2011.

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