Plastics and the Environment

These facts show how unsustainable the fashion industry is

fashion carbon industry pollution plastics water pollution dye co2 climate change global warming environment sustainability clothes gardments

The industry emits more carbon than international flights and maritime shipping combined. Image: Unsplash/Waldemar Brandt

Morgan McFall-Johnsen
Junior Reporter, Science, Business Insider
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Plastics and the Environment

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A truck unloads garbage at a temporary dump on the edge of Beirut, Lebanon September 23, 2015.
Landfill sights all across the world are filled with clothes. Image: REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir
The Sydney Harbour lit by the setting sun, on a summer day in Australia, November 24, 2018.
The Sydney Harbour could be filled twice annually with the textiles sent to landfill waste. Image: REUTERS/David Gray
A boy in the Philippines collects plastic materials near a polluted coastline. Cheryl Ravelo/Reuters
35% of all microplastics come from the laundering of synthetic textiles like polyester. Image: Cheryl Ravelo/Reuters
A giant green turtle rests on a coral reef at a diving site near the island of Sipadan in Celebes Sea, east of Borneo, November 7, 2005. Reuters
Microplastic pollution accounts for nearly a third of all ocean plastics. Image: Reuters
A man uses his mobile phone as he walks amid smog in Tianjin, China after the city issued a yellow alert for air pollution, November 26, 2018.
The fashion industry is responsible for 1/10 of carbon emissions. Image: Stringer / Reuters
Women fetch water from an opening made by residents at a dried-up lake in Chennai, India, where taps ran dry city-wide in June 2019.
The fashion industry uses vast quantities of water. Image: REUTERS/P. Ravikumar/File Photo
Farmers work at a cotton market in Soungalodaga village near Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Luc Gnago
Cotton is highly water intensive. Image: REUTERS/Luc Gnago
An image of the Aral Sea as captured by NASA’s Earth Observatory on August 25, 2000 (left) shows the diminished shoreline from where the lake sat in 1960. In 2014 (right), the lake’s east lobe dried up for the first time in 600 years. NASA
Cotton farming used up so much water from the Aral Sea that it dried up after about 50 years Image: NASA
A worker dyes yarn at a textile mill on the outskirts of Agartala, the capital of India’s northeastern state of Tripura, April 19, 2008.
Dying textiles causes lots of water pollution. Image: REUTERS/Jayanta Dey
The water in a ditch turns red as chemicals and waste are dumped into it from nearby tannery factories in Dhaka, Bangladesh, May 14, 2005.
The dying process. Image: REUTERS/Rafiquar Rahman
A boy swims in the polluted waters of the Buriganga river in Dhaka, Bangladesh, May 14, 2009. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj (Bangladesh Environment Society)
A fifth of water pollution comes from the fashion industry. Image: REUTERS/Andrew Biraj (Bangladesh Environment Society)
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Plastics and the EnvironmentClimate ChangeFuture of the Environment
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