Tex-Ed Class #1: Microplastic Pollution and Textiles

[00:04:25] Marc Gaugler and Jamie Bridson [download slides: https://bit.ly/3c60OyI] [00:24:47] Jennifer Trittschuh [download slides: https://bit.ly/3C9iWTd] [00:37:18] Vanessa Crowe [download slides: https://bit.ly/3C7TFZs] In 2019 a Scion team of researchers sampled the waterways and coastlines of Auckland to get a snapshot of…

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[00:04:25] Marc Gaugler and Jamie Bridson [download slides: https://bit.ly/3c60OyI]
[00:24:47] Jennifer Trittschuh [download slides: https://bit.ly/3C9iWTd]
[00:37:18] Vanessa Crowe [download slides: https://bit.ly/3C7TFZs]

In 2019 a Scion team of researchers sampled the waterways and coastlines of Auckland to get a snapshot of the plastic microparticle problem in New Zealand’s most populated city. The research ‘Turning the tide on plastic microparticles’ found that most of the microparticles in Auckland’s waterways are fibres (88 per cent in fact) the findings were consistent with other areas in Aotearoa.

In this session we asked scientists Marc Gaugler and Jamie Bridson why? When we have been doing such a great job of reducing our single use plastic, have we been missing a trick? What can we do better or differently?

Jennifer Trittschuh is a Senior Technical Leader in Product Development designing washing machines and dryers and is part of the team investigating microfibres for Fisher & Paykel. Fisher & Paykel has been designing products since 1934 and has grown into a global company with products sold in more than 50 countries around the world. They have been researching synthetic microfibres for several years, including the lifecycle of microfibres: fibre, fabric and garment manufacturing; microfibre release during wear and laundering; and waste water treatment outcomes. They are part of the international community that is working to identify and develop solutions to this very complex problem.

Vanessa Crowe and the team from the Environmental Protection Authority have been piloting a community science programme “Wai Tuwhera o te Taiao – Open Waters Aotearoa”. The programme offers environmental DNA testing kits to community groups, iwi/hapu and kura. The test detects the DNA in our waterways then analyses it to reveal what creatures live in and near the waterway. Building knowledge of the living creatures in our waterways helps us to monitor and understand impacts on our environments, and how we can help protect them.

Tex-Ed is a free textile education series to help build and share knowledge for a regenerative world, merging the well designed with the green and wild. Brought to you by Usedfully – Textile Reuse Programme and our sponsors: Alsco NZ, Deane Apparel, EnviroNZ and Allied Laundry

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