How much plastic is in your strechy jeans? This much!
While we tend to think of jeans as primarily cotton or hemp, most modern jeans contain a ton of plastic… especially stretchy jeans!
An Australian woman composted a pair of stretchy jeans for over a year to determine exactly how much plastic was in them, and this is what they looked like when she dug them up!
The entire structure of the jeans remained intact because it was made of elastane, a type of plastic.
Another type of plastic found in even non-stretch jeans these days is polyester. Many are made of a 50/50 blend of cotton and polyester to “make them last longer.”
“We now know that most plastics do not break down,” said permaculture coach Meg McGowan in a viral Facebook post about her jeans.
McGowan told a local newspaper that she put designer denim through several rigorous cycles of composting – including her household composting bin, hot composting and a “worm hotel” – but none of them made a dent in the super strong “polyether-polyurea copolymer” (plastic).
“Our disposal options are to burn them and release toxic fumes or to not burn them and have them persist in our environment, possibly forever, as micro plastic particles,” McGowan writes.
“Our best option is to take good care of the clothing we already have and to refuse to add anything to our wardrobe until we actually need to replace something. Let’s kill fashion!”
Another option is looking for 100% cotton, hemp or linen!