A new study is taking the fight against microfibres in the Great Lakes back to the source: washing machines. The tiny particles of plastic are shed by synthetic fabrics like nylon and fleece when they're washed, slipping through water treatment plants and into the lakes. To stem the flow, researchers will install about 100 special filters on washing machines in Parry Sound, Ont. to see if they reduce the amount of plastic particles that show up at the town's water treatment plant.
In the first study of its kind, researchers say they have found evidence of tiny plastic particles in the human gut. Austrian researchers analyzed stool samples of eight people from different countries and found that all of them tested positive for at least one microplastic. On average, there were 20 microplastic particles found per 10 grams of stool.