Christmas sweaters are making plastic pollution worse, environmental charity warns

That ugly Christmas sweater you’re planning on wearing to this year’s holiday party may be causing more harm than you think. 

Many Christmas sweaters are made of toxic materials that are contributing to the world’s plastic pollution problem, an environmental charity warned. 

Hubbub, a U.K. charity that focuses on sustainability, analyzed more than 100 Christmas sweaters and determined that 95 percent of them were made from plastic materials.

Three-fourths of the sweaters tested contained acrylic fibers, with 44 percent of them being made solely from the material.


FILE: A boy walking along a sewage drain canal full of garbage in the Taimur Nagar slum area in New Delhi. (DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP via Getty Images)

Acrylic fabric is not only bad for the environment, it can be detrimental to your health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A 2016 study from Plymouth University found that acrylic releases almost 730,000 microfibers in every wash, which is much more than polyester and polyester-cotton blends. 

The charity estimates that nearly 12 million Christmas sweaters will be bought in the U.K. this holiday season, despite the fact that 2 in 5 consumers will only wear them once.

In an effort to be more sustainable, Hubbub recommends recycling a festive sweater you already own as well swapping out with friends. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.