Dangers of polyester:
The Effects on our Environment & Wildlife
by The House of Pillows Editorial Writers
#1 The dangers of polyester
What is polyester? And why is it dangerous?
So, polyester is a synthetic, petroleum-based fiber. And, it is therefore made from a carbon-intensive, non-renewable resource. Most petroleum products are used as feedstock. That means the raw material to make the fiber. Also, it is used to generate the energy needed to manufacture. What’s more, did you know 70 billion barrels of oil are used to make polyester each year?
#2 The dangers of polyester
Is polyester bio-degradable?
Polyester is not bio-degradable. And, it persists in the ecosystem, even as it eventually breaks apart. The sad truth is that synthetic textiles are the biggest source of microplastic pollution in our oceans. And this is because up to 2000 fibers are washed off one textile product, every time you wash it.
#3 The dangers of polyester
Does polyester production take up a lot of energy to produce? How much?
So polyester production can sometimes be less energy intensive than some other synthetic fibers. However, it still needs more than twice the energy of conventional cotton. And that number goes even higher with other natural fibers such as organic cotton, wool and hemp, for instance. Indeed, polyester uses harmful chemicals, including carcinogens, and when (it’s no longer a question of if…) they are emitted to water and air untreated, they can cause high environmental damage.
#4 The dangers of polyester
Where is Polyester Produced?
So, most polyester production take place in countries where environmental regulations are lacking. And that in itself is a sure sign that polyester is damaging to the environment. These countries include China, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. The air and water pollution created by polyester production, is often discharged untreated. And this results in significant water pollution. It harms communities in the close and far vicinities (due to downstream and downwind) of manufacturing plants.
#5 The dangers of polyester
How much water does polyester production use up?
This is probably the only good thing about polyester: it is less water intensive than natural fibers… But, the detrimental impact on water supplies is still far greater. Indeed, because polyester cannot be dyed using low-impact and natural dyes, polyester needs chemical dyes. And the residues of these chemical dyes, often get discharged in the water streams. So while polyester production doesn’t need as much water to be produced, it pollutes large water streams, killing fish, wildlife, and potentially posining individuals who depend on water streams in developing countries.
It is, because polyester cannot be dyed using low-impact and natural dyes, polyester needs chemical dyes and thus it pollutes large water streams.
#6 The dangers of polyester
Polyester production and the environment: it’s not worth it.
So the envrionmental impacts of polyester are very significant. And we’re here to take a stand for a better way of living. If you want to maintain a sustainable household (and even a sustainable wardrobe), it is best to avoid purchasing polyester textiles as much as possible. If you have polyester to dispose of, do your best to find where you can have them recycled so that existing polyester stocks to not end up in a landfill.
Thank you for seeking out more information about these topics. We hope you learnt something from this article, and that we’ve inspired you to think differently about the way you consume textile products.
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