The Plastic Problem: Plastic Pollution and its Threat to Wildlife

The Plastic Problem: Plastic Pollution and its Threat to Wildlife

Plastic waste is a growing issue as 85% or more of plastic consumed in the United States ends up in landfills. Not only that, but microplastics are being released into our ground and water from our washing machines, cleaning products, and larger plastics that break down but don’t disappear. We’ve talked about microplastic’s effects on the human body, but how does plastic pollution affect wildlife?

Plastic’s Effects on Marine Animals

About 11 million tons of plastic waste end up in our oceans yearly, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. We are currently on a trajectory for plastic waste and pollution to continue to increase over the next 20 years. It is predicted that our oceans and waterways will soon contain more plastic waste than fish, which has an adverse effect not only on their homes but also inside their bodies. 

Turtles, seabirds, and fish consume plastic, mistaking them for food and creating a deadly outcome due to choking or intestinal blockage. Plastics and microplastics also attract harmful chemicals that can cause sickness, disease, infertility, or even death when ingested. These microplastics and chemicals also make their way up the food chain affecting the other animals that might have otherwise avoided eating plastic. Eventually, this makes its way back into our human diets. While the effects of microplastics on the human body have not yet been revealed, we can be sure that we will suffer similar consequences to our marine friends. 

Plastic’s Effects on Land Animals

Like marine life, land animals often ingest plastic waste, choke, and have intestinal blockages. Cases of animal deaths due to plastic consumption have increased over the last several years and are expected to continue. 

Land animals have also often become entangled, entrapped, or impaled by plastic waste, causing detrimental harm to their bodies and overall wellbeing. It can impair their ability to walk, fly, hunt, forage for food, or even consume food altogether. 

Microplastics don’t just affect marine animals. They are leaching into the soil from local water sources and landfills and affecting vegetation and creatures that cultivate the ground. 

What Can I Do? 

While all of this information might feel pretty discouraging, there are action steps that we can all take today that will make a difference for tomorrow. We have the power to work together to save the ecosystem from the effects of our plastic pollution. Here are some ways you can make a difference: 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

You’ve heard it repeatedly, but it remains the simplest way to create less plastic waste. Reduce your plastic usage by buying reusable containers, avoiding single-use plastic items, and shopping sustainably. Reuse plastic bags and containers as much as possible so that fewer plastic items end up in the trash. And finally, recycle everything you can!

Get Involved with Environmental Organizations

Numerous organizations are already doing fantastic work to reduce plastic waste and educate others about the dangers of plastic pollution. Check out these seven awesome organizations protecting the oceans

Install a Filtrol

One load of laundry can produce thousands of microfibers (microplastics measuring 5mm or less). A one-time investment of a Filtrol washing machine filter can prevent up to 89% of microplastics from leaving your home and invading water sources. 

How You Can Help Improve the Environment in Your Community

There are so many ways that you can be an advocate for the environment. At Filtrol, we believe that starting with small changes, right where you are, is a great first step if you’re looking to improve the environment in your community. Here are some ways that you can be a champion for your local ecosystem.

Clean Up Litter

One simple way to make a difference is by picking up garbage around the neighborhood! Grab some gloves and a trash bag and head to your local park, walk down the streets, or engage your community by either organizing or joining cleanup crews in your areas with nonprofits like National Cleanup Day. Clean streets and neighborhoods mean we are saving waste from ending up in our water systems and eventually in our bodies.

Plant Trees 

Planting new trees in your neighborhood can help improve the air quality, reduce stormwater runoff, which creates erosion, and provide habitats for many species. If you aren’t able to plant trees in your own yard, team up with a friend, partner with organizations like Ecologi, or check with your local government entities to see if you can partner with them to plant trees in your community. 

Save the Bees

Bees are essential to the global ecosystem. They pollinate our crops, gardens, and the vegetation consumed by wildlife. Due to pesticides and environmental factors, the bee population is drastically declining. You can help them by planting bee-friendly gardens, reducing or eliminating pesticide usage, participating in “No Mow May,” or even becoming a beekeeper yourself! 

Reduce Plastic Usage

Recycling as much plastic as possible is a great start, but there are many ways that you can reduce your plastic waste altogether. Start by replacing single-use household items with multi-use items with these plastic alternatives

Install a Filtrol

Installing a Filtrol filter on your washing machine can reduce up to 89% of microfiber (microplastics measuring 5mm or smaller)  pollution from leaving your home. This prevents plastic pollution from seeping into the nearby groundwater and waterways. It keeps them out of the septic and sewer systems so that they don’t eventually find their way back into the water you drink, cook with, and bathe in. 

There’s a lot of work to do to conserve and protect our earth. Starting in your community to ensure that you, your family, and your neighbors are educated and engaged on environmental issues is an excellent start to making a lasting impact. 

What is Being Done to Bring Hope to the Future of Recycling?

You might have heard disappointing news about recycling over the last couple of years. After restrictions on exporting a portion of the USA’s recycling in 2018, our nation found itself with more recycling than we could process, and some of it ended up in landfills. The pandemic also set back many recycling facilities’ ability to process recycling materials creating an untimely setback. 

This unfortunate blow to the well-being of our environment caused many to feel overwhelmed and hopeless. But there are scientists, conservationists, and environmentalists working to reduce the amount of plastic we’re using and on new ways to deal with the massive amount of plastic waste we’re creating every day. 

So what is the future of recycling? Here are some hopeful developments in the world of plastics.

Federal, State, and City Policy Changes

The government has the power to enact policy that directly affects our plastic consumption. Many states and cities already restrict take-out containers, plastic bags and straws, and more. The federal government has also funded sustainable legislation such as the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act and the RECYCLE Act. You can look at the platforms of the candidates running for office in your area to see who supports these types of legislation. 

Circular Economy

In our current economy, we extract materials from the environment, use them to create new products, and then the majority of those products are disposed of. Even the materials that can be reused or recycled eventually end up in the landfill after a while. In a circular economy, the goods that are created are designed to be recycled back into the economy, creating an endless loop of materials that would eliminate the need to extract new materials. One of the ways this could be accomplished is through chemical recycling instead of mechanical recycling (our current system).

Chemical Recycling

Our current system of mechanical recycling only melts down the material to create a more brittle, less sustainable version that can only be reused 2-3 more times before it becomes waste. However, chemical recycling allows plastics to be chemically changed back into their original state and therefore be recycled endlessly. This process has been developed, and scientists are now working on how to scale it in a cost-effective way for production. 

You Have the Power to Make Change

Never underestimate the power of the consumer. The more you buy sustainable goods made out of recycled or compostable material, the more you are signaling to corporations that you value environmentally responsible products. When they see the demand for these products, they will continue to work toward creating better products for our earth, giving us even more options to reduce plastic waste and the need for recycling. 

When you’re feeling like the environment’s future looks bleak, and you ask yourself, “What is the future of recycling?”, rest assured that the processes are already underway and that you have the power to support and enact change starting today! 

4 Reasons Microplastics are Harming the Human Body

Plastic is a common part of our everyday life. Over the years, items that used to be made from glass, wood, and cotton have been replaced by plastic. At first, this made sense, plastic is cheap and easy to make and ultimately makes our day-to-day lives easier. However, single-use and non-recyclable plastic have stealthily infiltrated our homes and lives. Only 20% of plastics are recycled worldwide, and even less in the United States, where we recycle only 9% of plastics. 

You probably have heard about the effects of plastic pollution on the environment, oceans, and wildlife with mantras like “Save the Turtles” and “Protect the Oceans.” But have you ever asked yourself, “How is plastic pollution affecting humans?” 

How Plastic Pollution is Affecting the Human Body

It’s easy to think of plastic pollution in plastic bottles and shopping bags – those are the items we can see easily. But plastic pollution is also microscopic. Larger plastics break down into microplastics, and clothes made with synthetic plastic materials release thousands of microfibers (microplastics measuring 5mm or less) into our water systems with every load of laundry. Microplastics have been found in humans’ blood, lungs, and feces, bringing with them toxic chemicals that can be hazardous to our health. 

Microplastics Attract Toxins

These tiny plastic pieces are magnets for toxic materials such as PCBs or pesticides and bind themselves to the plastic. The microplastics then make their way from the wastewater and ground back into the water we drink, our food, and the air we breathe.

Microplastics are in Our Water

Because the minuscule plastics are so small, they make their way past the water treatment plants and filters and back into the water we use every day for drinking, cooking, bathing, and cleaning. That means that we’re ingesting and surrounding ourselves with toxic-bound plastics. 

Microplastics are in Our Food

Since microplastics are pervasive in our water, animals are also ingesting the chemical-laden plastics, and crops are affected. The meat and veggies make their way up the food chain to our plates filling our digestive systems and eventually our blood with the plastics and toxins. 

Microplastics are in Our Air

Microplastics are also carried by the wind to even the world’s most remote places. They are released through the evaporation of water, home laundry dryers, the friction of tires on the ground, and more. We then breathe them into our lungs, where they become lodged and can create larger health issues. 

What Can You Do? 

It’s important to stay informed about how prevalent microplastics are in our everyday life. But you don’t need to get discouraged. Instead, you can look for ways to help reduce the harm microplastics are causing globally. 

Shop Consciously. There is power in how you spend your money. Choosing plastic-free, sustainable, and reusable products is a great start and signals to companies that you value earth-friendly goods. 

Reuse and Recycle. Plastics aren’t going away anytime soon, so think about how you can repurpose and reuse when you have to use them. When you’re done with plastic items, try to recycle everything. Check with your local waste management company to see what types of plastic can be recycled

Install a Filtrol. The Filtrol laundry filter captures 89% of microplastics released during your wash cycle. This simple solution will keep thousands of microfibers from making their way into the environment. Click here to buy now.

Top 7 Awesome Organizations Protecting the Oceans from Plastic Pollution

Top 7 Awesome Organizations Protecting the Oceans from Plastic Pollution

Plastic pollution in our oceans is a global problem. We know that this will continue to be a problem for years to come, but there are things we can do now that will make a difference one day at a time. These incredible organizations are working hard to conserve our planet’s oceans by working toward reducing plastic usage and waste, cleaning up the garbage in our oceans, and educating people on the importance of caring for oceanic ecosystems. These are all great places to start if you’re interested in getting involved with advocacy and collaboration surrounding plastic pollution and keeping our oceans clean for future generations.

Natural Resources Defense Council 

The Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) is working toward protecting seas and oceans from pollution and exploitation. Through legislative action, they create opportunities to reduce overfishing, protect coastal communities from offshore drilling, and work to improve the standard of global ocean stewardship. They believe in uniting everyone around the singular goal of protecting and conserving the planet that we all rely on. 

Project AWARE

Project AWARE is a coalition of individuals, government agencies, NGOs, and businesses who work together to advocate for the prevention and reduction of marine debris. They sponsor the Dive Against Debris, a program where scuba divers use their time and skills to clean up the garbage polluting our oceans and report on the types, quantity, and location of the materials they find. 

Bahamas Plastic Movement

After studying the Western Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean, Kristal Ambrose was inspired to start the Bahamas Plastic Movement (BHM). BHM is working to educate people about the dangers of plastic pollution and motivate them to take action by preventing plastic pollution and cleaning it up. They host camps for kids, beach clean-up days, and educational classes that help keep the Bahamas beautiful. 

Surfrider Foundation

Dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans and beaches, the Surfrider foundation fights to reduce plastic pollution, ocean protection, beach access, coastal preservation, and cleaner water. They set up local clubs and chapters all over the U.S. that people can join to clean up beaches, advocate for policy and legislation change, and educate their communities on conserving the world’s water. 

Take 3

This global initiative believes in the power of everyone doing their small part to make a big difference. They are working to educate people about plastic pollution and advocate for people to take at least three pieces of garbage with them when they leave the beach, a waterway, or anywhere they go to reduce the amount of plastic and garbage pollution in the world. 

5 Gyres Institute

The 5 Gyres Institute works to empower people to take action against the global health crisis that is plastic pollution through science, education, and advocacy. Their programs work to simultaneously clean up plastic and garbage pollution and use that waste to develop data about the environment’s types, locations, and amount of garbage.


Filtrol has also joined the fight to keep our oceans clean – and we’re inviting you to play a part as well! Microfibers from our laundry are releasing thousands of microfibers into our wastewater, eventually polluting our food and drinking water. The simple act of installing the Filtrol in your home can prevent up to 89% of these pollutants from ever making it into our waterways. 

Do You Know Which Plastics to Recycle? Here’s a Helpful Guide!

Do You Know Which Plastics to Recycle? Here’s a Helpful Guide!

While recycling systems have certainly come a long way over the years, it can still be confusing to know what plastics you should be recycling and what types need to be kept out of the recycling process. 

There are a lot of different types of plastic around the world, and it’s important to know that not all plastic is created equal. Plastics are made out of various chemicals and materials that can affect their ability to be recycled. While you should check with your local sanitation company as rules can be different for every city, here are some good rules of thumb to stick to when sorting your plastics for recycling and can help inform your buying habits at the store.

What plastic can be Recycled? 

#1 PET

Typically used for single-use items such as soft drinks, ketchup, peanut butter containers, etc., PET is lightweight plastic making it easy to recycle. PET plastics are often recycled into fleece, fiber totes, furniture, carpet, etc. 


HDPE is an adaptable higher-density plastic often used in packaging for milk jugs, household cleaners, shopping bags, and yogurt tubs. While plastic bags usually can’t be recycled with local curbside recycling, many stores collect them for recycling, such as Target or Walmart. HDPE can be recycled back into the same types of plastic containers, pens, drainage pipes, fencing, and more. 

What plastic cannot be Recycled? 

#3 PVC

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and Vinyl (V) is a tough plastic used for flooring and siding. It’s a highly toxic material that releases toxins in the air during manufacturing and if burned. While a few places collect used PVC, it is typically considered non-recyclable. 

Plastics that Can Sometimes be Recycled


LDPE is a flexible plastic that often packages items such as toothpaste, bread, frozen food, shopping bags, and furniture. It isn’t available for recycling in many curbside programs and needs to be thrown in the trash, other than plastic bags that you can drop off at some local stores. LDPE plastics are often recycled into trash can liners, cans, composting bins, paneling, and lumber. 

#5 PP

This plastic has a high melting point, making it perfect for holding hot liquids in coffee mugs or other beverage bottles, and is also found in medicine bottles, caps, and straws. You can recycle PP through some curbside programs, but always make sure it’s clean before throwing it in the bin. PP-based plastic can be recycled into items such as battery cables, brooms, ice scrapers, rakes, and trays. 

#6 PS

PS comes in two forms – rigid and foam (also known as styrofoam) and is another highly toxic form of plastic often used in disposable plates, cups, and take-out containers. Toxins from PS can contaminate food and be ingested into our system. While not many sanitation companies can accept PS in the form of foam, rigid PS products can sometimes be recycled. 

#7 Miscellaneous

This category refers to all other types of plastics that don’t fit into categories 1-6. Some examples of this are bullet-proof materials, DVDs, sunglasses, some food containers, and nylon. While these are traditionally not recycled, many curbside programs are making an effort to start including them, so check with your local pick-up provider. 

The world of plastics is vast, and they aren’t going away any time soon. The best thing we can do in the meantime is to reduce the amount of plastic we use and buy – and to stay educated about plastic pollution and recycling options. Remember to check with your local pick-up to see what items you can recycle, and we will all continue to take one step at a time toward a plastic-free future!

Comparing Microfiber Filters: The Lint Filter with the Best Results

Thousands of microfibers enter our water systems with every load of laundry we do. To make our way toward a better, healthier environment, we all have a part in decreasing pollution. Purchasing a microfiber filter is a great first step to making a difference. 

Which Filter is Right for me? 

At Filtrol, a lot of research takes place to ensure that you are getting the best product on the market. There are a lot of choices you can make when you’re looking to stop microfibers and protect your septic, drain field, and local water sources. We believe that Filtrol stands above the rest, offering the best value for your dollar. We compared information from three popular microfiber filters on the market to see how they stood up against the Filtrol.

The Results

While taking any step toward reducing microfibers and microplastics in our environment is essential, we take pride in knowing that the Filtrol gives the best value and catch rate on the market so that we can get back to real water. 

The 3 Most Important Plastic Pollution Facts You Need to Know

The Plastic Pollution Facts You Need to Know

There’s a lot of information out there about plastic pollution. It can be overwhelming and sometimes even discouraging to filter through all the articles, studies, and research about plastic pollution. While plastic pollution is definitely an issue that you need to pay attention to, you don’t need to stress yourself out with every piece of information that crosses your news feed. We’ve put together the main plastic pollution facts that you need to know to stay educated so that we can continue to work toward reducing plastic waste. 

What is plastic pollution, and why should we care? 

Plastic pollution refers to the plastic waste in landfills, water, nature, and just about every place you can think of. This can range from the larger plastic waste you see on the side of the road or on the beach when you’re on vacation to the tiny microplastics that we can’t see. When plastic isn’t being properly recycled or disposed of, it makes its way into the ground, our food and water, and eventually our bodies. Microplastics have been found in human digestive systems, feces, lungs, and even in our blood. 

Plastic Pollution Fact You Need to Know #1: Less than ⅕ of all plastic is recycled globally.

The United States only recycles about 9% of our plastic and is one of the highest contributors to plastic usage. This means that more plastics than necessary are ending up in the garbage and polluting our environment and water systems. Plastic can take 20-500 years to decompose and leave behind even more microplastics that can potentially be even more problematic. 

(Source: Fast facts about plastic pollution, National Geographic)

Plastic Pollution Fact You Need to Know #2: 40% of plastic is made for single-use packaging.

This plastic comes from online shopping, grocery items, new electronics, etc. The production of these plastics accounts for 161,000,000  tons of plastic and cannot be recycled, which means that they go straight into landfills and end up in oceans. These plastics also end up breaking down into smaller microplastics that have the potential to make their way back into our water and food systems.

(Source: Fast facts about plastic pollution, National Geographic)

Plastic Pollution Fact You Need to Know #3: It is estimated that the U.S. is dumping more than 64,000 pounds of microfiber into natural water sources every day. 

Microfibers are microplastics measuring less than 5mm in diameter. Every time we do a load of laundry, between 136,000 to 1,000,000 microfibers from synthetic fabrics are released into the environment. After these microfibers are released, they often attach themselves to the food of animals who inadvertently ingest them. Eventually, these minuscule microfibers make their way up the food chain to humans. Microfibers also make their way back into our drinking water because they are too small to filter out. 

(Sources: Is my washing to blame for the plastic problem?, BBC News, What You Should Know About Microfiber Pollution, Environmental Protection Agency)

Plastic pollution is a global issue, and only a global solution will be the remedy. We have a shared mission, and it will take efforts from individuals, small businesses, corporations, and environmental agencies to reduce the amount of plastic pollution and create a cleaner, healthier world. You can take one step toward a better tomorrow today by reducing 89% of the microfibers water pollution from your laundry with the Filtrol

More Research. Same Results.

More Research into Plastic Pollution. Same Exact Results.

More research into plastic pollution has yielded the same results. Multiple sources of information have pointed to the same conclusion. Data and research from a wide range of contributors have come upon the same findings: The plastic pollution issue is a global concern that requires an intentional and global response. 

Different reports and predictions indicate an exponential expansion of plastic and its impacts in our planet’s water sources. Oceans are expected to have more plastic than fish by 2050, with dangerous levels of plastic already being detected in the Mediterranean, the ice of the Arctic, and the East China and Yellow Seas. From massive clumps of trash to microscopic pieces invisible to the naked eye, this plastic is everywhere, and it isn’t staying in the oceans. It’s becoming part of our ecosystem, consumed by the smallest members of the food chain and eventually ending up on our dinner plates. 

Sea Life and Plastic

Sea turtles and birds are known to regularly consume plastic, as are mussels and oysters — both commonly consumed whole by humans. There are significant causes for concern when considering the true implications of this plastic in our wildlife and our diets. 

But strictly from an ecological standpoint, plastic’s polluting effects are still worth considering and investigating. According to research published by the World Economic Forum in February of 2022, the threat of extinction to wildlife like sperm whales and monk seals is becoming more and more real each year, with many ecologically-rich environments now measuring drastically marked increases in plastic’s presence. 

According to the Analysis for the Worldwide Fund for Nature, “2,141 species have so far been found to encounter plastic pollution in their natural environments.”

With more than 100 million tons of plastic having already entered our waterways, taking dedicated and effective steps forward will involve more than a laundry lint filter or a law on the books. It will be a global decision to control plastic’s production and its disposal. It will be a unilateral effort to make responsibility a value in the way we protect our environment for future generations. But it does start with individual decisions — one at a time. And then those decisions take root and take shape into lifestyle changes for individuals and families. Communities are impacted and change goes from being possible to be measurable. 

So what will your response be to this issue?

How will you leave this planet better than you found it? 

Plastic: Innovation or Devastation?

Plastic: Innovation or Devastation?

Try for a moment imagining a world without plastic. What would life look like? What would be different? Think about restaurants and gas stations. Think about your junk drawer at home. Think about your wardrobe… The buttons on your coats and the cars that you drive. 1 million conveniences and 1 million necessities… All possible because of plastic.

And now imagine for a moment a world where plastic was no longer manufactured.

What changes would you need to make today if plastic could no longer be manufactured or sold? What changes would need to be made if plastic was outlawed? Every once in a while you’ll hear talk of plastic bags at grocery stores being eliminated. Every so often you’ll hear about the amount of plastic bottles flushed into the streets in places like Haiti where freshwater is in short supply and so bottled water is given as a supplement. And truthfully, eliminating plastic bottles and plastic grocery bags would be a tremendous accomplishment. 

But it’s really just the tip of the iceberg. 

Plastic, in all of its forms, truly is all around us. It’s in our hospitals and medical clinics. In every sport and every kitchen. It’s in the clothes that you wear and in the devices you’re using to read this article. Plastic is an integral part of our lives and the efforts to make plastic a thing of the past are probably, in complete transparency, rather arbitrary. Our world does not easily dispose of the things that make life easier… Or cheaper. 

So go again to that world where there is no plastic. Whether plastic never existed or could no longer be manufactured – a world without plastic is hard to even wrap our heads around. We rely on it. We expect it. We need it.

But what do we do about it?

At Filtrol, we are fully aware of the massive dependence our world has on plastic. And our goal is not to eradicate it from existence. Instead, it’s to make the world we live in is absolutely beautiful and untarnished as possible. It’s to give our children and their children and their children’s children’s children the same beauty that we get to experience whenever we hike the Superior Trail, swim in the ocean, or drink a glass of water or a microbrew. We’re not here to get rid of plastic. We are here so that our world knows how to live with it.

And that means we have to keep plastic from damaging our planet. We have to control our processes and our manufacturing standards so that we aren’t flushing billions of microfibers into freshwater sources. And we have to be responsible in our innovations. If we can do this, there is a chance that the existence of plastic can be an innovation without meaning total devastation

But it’s in our hands to make the change.