It happens a million times every second, worldwide. Yet for many people it is happening in secret. “With every wash, textiles shed microfibres. But while cotton, as an organic material, degrades almost completely, synthetic fibres persist in the environment much longer,” explains Heather Ball, responsible for textile testing at TUV Rheinland in Western Europe. Only a few days ago, researchers from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in Great Britain published their latest measurements of micro plastics in the Atlantic Ocean. The experts assume that an estimated twelve to 21 million tonnes of waste are found in the upper layers of water in the first 200 meters alone. This also includes fibres shed from synthetically produced fibres. “The problem has long been recognized by experts. The microfibres in the wastewater are not completely filtered out by sewage treatment plants and thus end up in the waters or as sewage sludge on the fields”.