First standardized guidelines measuring plastic pollution published by the Plastic Leak Project

Leading sustainability consulting group Quantis and ecodesign center EA, in partnership with 35 member organizations and stakeholders, have released of the Plastic Leak Project (PLP) Guidelines, the first standardized methodology to map, measure and forecast plastic leakage.

IWTO is proud to be part of this project, and in furthering the understanding of the sustainability of textiles throughout the supply chain.

The Plastic Problem

Plastic leakage is the potential amount of macro- and microplastics that are not kept in a circular loop or properly managed at their end-of-life, and thus leak into the environment.

Following a yearlong collaboration and rigorous testing of the methodology through two in-depth pilot projects, the pioneering guidelines and proof-of-concept case studies are publicly available as of 28 February 2020.

Download the Plastic Leak Project Methodological Guidelines and Brief.

Of the estimated 8300 million metric tons of virgin plastic produced between 1950–2015, only 7% has been recycled, while more than half — approximately 4900 million metric tons — has ended up in landfill or leaked into the environment.

Until now, businesses have lacked clear and reliable data and methods to translate their bold commitments into actions with measurable and tangible impact.

Many existing policies and efforts have been based on best guesses rather than science.

PLP’s science-driven approach to tackling plastic pollution now gives companies a tool to design better products and data-driven strategies to limit plastic pollution.

Wool as a Solution to Microplastic Pollution

Another strategy might well be: choose wool.

A natural fibre made of protein, the same as human hair, wool offers a biodegradable alternative to the microplastics narrative.

Early results from research in New Zealand have shown that in a 90-day period, wool biodegrades readily in salt water, while synthetic competitor fibres show little or no biodegradation.

The same research indicated that machine washable wool biodegrades readily, leaving no evidence of any potentially harmful residues.