Washing Machine Filter for Plastic Fibres

Washing machines are a major source of micro plastics pollution.

Irish ecologist Dr. Mark Antony Browne of the University College in Dublin was the first to publish about this issue. The article, “Accumulations of micro plastic on shorelines worldwide: sources and sinks” was published in the Environmental Science & Technology journal in 2011. His research found that a single synthetic item of clothing could generate more than 1900 fibres in only one wash. The study also found that neither washing machines nor filtration plants are equipped to filter out these fibres, invisible to the naked eye. With a growing world population, the more people use these synthetic textiles, the more the environment, animals and people will be contaminated.

Plastic fibres are everywhere. German Professor Gerd Liebezeit (University of Oldenburg) found them in honey, tap water, air, beer and mineral water. It is suspected that these fibres originate from plastic clothing. Fleece clothing is a notable culprit. The fibres of synthetic textiles are so small that they can easily end up in the food chain.

SOLUTION/INNOVATION

A few years ago, an innovator started developing a washing machine filter to prevent the frequent blockage of septic tanks due to clothing fibres from washing machine waste water. To solve this problem, the innovator developed an efficient but also practical filter. It is already used in more than 1300 units. This Innovation drew the attention of scientists who had already been studying the pollution of the environment by clothing fibres for some time. Through direct collaboration between the innovator and the scientists, the system will now be refined and applied to washing machines that discharge into wastewater systems.

This washing machine filter is a perfect product in combination with the Life+ Mermaids project. The goal of this projects is to reduce the impact of micro and /or nano plastic particles caused by textile washing processes.