Filtrol: An Easy Answer to a Hard Question

The man-made materials in plastic are engineered to not break down. Even recycling them doesn’t remove them from our ecosystem but merely repurposes them. So what are the impacts of these particles entering our water, our food, and our bodies? 

That’s a hard question to aswer. 

The questions surrounding microfiber pollution are abundant. Since it’s known that adults consume approximately a credit card amount of plastic every week, we know that plastic is quite literally becoming part of us. What we don’t know, however, is what this presence of plastic in our world is going to mean for us in ten, twenty, or even 100 years. 

BPA, the synthetic, industrial chemical with which plastic and various resins are manufactured, were introduced into our ecosystem, our food, water — and ultimately our bodies — in the 1960’s. As years have progressed since this time, plastic manufacturing has exponentially multiplied, releasing more into the environment and more into our bodies. The presence of plastic in our food and water logically means the presence of the toxins in synthetically manufactured BPA. 

Even now, relatively early into our data collection of its impacts, we are seeing plastic that is consumed having links to the endocrine system. Issues with metabolism, heart rate, digestion, and fertility can rise when the endocrine is effected. And while the full implications of these chemicals in our bodies haven’t fully been discovered and researched, the time to make progressive steps forward is now. 

As the research continues, we should remain committed to truly understanding the impacts of our manufacturing on our health and ecosystem. We should also do all that we can to stop these microscopic particles from the ability to pollute. 

At Filtrol, we’re stopping plastic pollution at its source. The majority of plastic pollution enters our environment through our laundry’s wastewater. As a washing machine spits out wastewater after a rinse cycle, it is also spitting out hundreds of thousands of plastics that the laundry has shed through the washing cycle. At relatively little cost, easy installation, and little maintenance, the plastic is stopped in its tracks. 

We may not have all the answers yet to the questions about plastic microfiber pollution and its impact on our world. But we do have the answer to the question of how to stop it. Buy a Filtrol and do your part to stop plastic from being a permanent part of our ecosystem. 

Bottle-Fed Babies are Eating Much More Plastic Than We Ever Thought

Plastic pollution does not discriminate. Across the country and around the world, we’re seeing the impacts of plastic pollution on what would be considered our most remote locations. High in the mountains and miles deep in the ocean, plastic is showing itself to be present. It makes its way from our home, through our laundry’s wastewater, and into our environment. From there it goes into our wildlife, our food, and our drinking water. 

Recent studies are showing that this permeating problem of plastic is disproportionately impacting the youngest of consumers, as baby bottles are actually shedding millions of particles of plastic with each use. 

The problem isn’t necessarily the bottle itself (even though the bottle is made of a propylene that is a synthetic material known for not breaking down). The problem is the process by which a bottle is prepared for a baby. Because babies’ food must be warmed before it is consumed, these plastic bottles are being put through a process of warming with each feeding. Whether using a bottle warmer, on a stove top, or in a microwave, the warming process is instigating the shedding of millions and millions of microscopic pollutants – directly into the baby’s digestive system. 

Many of these microplastics are processed by the body and make their way into diapers. But like all areas of microfiber pollution research, this is still a relatively young study. The synthetic materials of plastic are relatively young in our world. We still don’t know the long-term implications and negative side effects of consuming the amounts of plastic our world is consuming with each meal and drink. 

According to the Guardian, the group that compiled this research and tracks much of the narrative around pollutants like these in our world, babies in the United States alone are consuming as many as 2.5 million particles of plastic every day! 

As we continue to see new research tell us how much plastic is impacting in our ecosystem, we continue to be amazed at its far-reaching potential. We already knew it was in our streams, rivers, and oceans. It’s in the food chain and subsequently in our bodies. And now seeing how it’s impacting our tiniest members of society at an even higher rate, it’s essential that we do something to stop it. 

FILTROL: Keeping Nature Natural

Filtrol is based in Minnesota.

90,000 miles of shoreline. More than 10,000 lakes. The headwaters of the Mississippi River. 

Whether we’re paddling through the serene waters of the BWCA, walleye fishing on Lake of the Woods, or disappearing into an afternoon of water sports, we’re known for water in Minnesota. And at Filtrol, we love the water and everything about the outdoors. We grew up hunting and fishing, enjoying the north woods and surviving crazy winters. We love the landscapes, the seasons, and the culture. Minnesota is our home…even if it’s not for everyone.

But we understand that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to our serene landscapes and idyllic lakeside cottages. There are parts of Minnesota that look pristine, seemingly untouched by humanity. 

Until you look closer. 

Millions of pounds of plastic ends up in our planet’s water supplies, much of it going unseen. Thousands of microplastics are flushed into our ecosystem with each load of laundry. These microscopic pollutants end up in the most remote parts of our country. Deep in Minnesota’s boundary waters. Even far away, high up in the Rocky Mountains. Plastic is everywhere. 

FILTROL – Back to Real Water

Between the research we’ve done, the solutions we’ve built, and the opportunities we’re pursuing, we have begun to see real, measurable change happening in the world around us. Plastic is being stopped in its tracks everywhere that a Filtrol is installed. New iterations of the solution now nearing production are showing even greater potential to solve this plastic pollution problem. 

If you haven’t seen how the plastic pollution can be stopped in its tracks with the Filtrol, check out this video. To place an order, click here

Ocean-Bound Plastic: What It Is and What It Isn’t

A professor from the University of Georgia, Dr. Jenna Jambeck, published an article in the popular magazine Science that defined “ocean-bound” as a principle for understanding both the track and impact of plastic pollution. The article, available by logging in here, shines light on the existence of plastic in our ecosystem and also on its track through (or around) our treatment systems.

Ultimately, the majority of plastic does not end up in the ocean but in various other pockets of our ecosystem.

As the research and technology has expanded over the past 5 years since this article was published, advanced processes and systems have been put in place to help members of the scientific community — members like Dr. Jambeck — study, track, and solve the plastic pollution conundrum in front of us. Plastic is still entering our ecosystem. Metric ton upon metric ton of it is still ending up in our oceans, but much of it ends up in freshwater sources and in other deposits around the globe. 

Ocean-bound plastic is only part of the problem!

We could (and eventually will) dig deeper into exactly where plastics released into our ecosystem are ending up. The argument posed in Sustainable Brands, for instance, contends that ocean-bound is a far too limiting term, as it limits the conversation to pieces of garbage (in this instance, plastic garbage) that are literally being tossed directly into the ocean or are being washed into it before much times passes. It does not unpack the journey of the plastic spoon that is thrown onto the ground just a few miles inland from the coast. 

And it’s garbage that is not being properly categorized or managed that needs to be part of the bigger conversation. It’s leading many environmentalists to change their understanding of what an honest conversation about plastic pollution really entails.

A comprehensive plan to solve plastic pollution is about much more than the plastic in our oceans. It’s about the plastic in our world. 

Continue to follow this conversation by reading the full article.

Read the original publication about ocean-bound plastics from Dr. Jambeck.

And stay connected to us at Filtrol, as we continue our fight to get back to real water and stop plastic pollution in its tracks. 

Overcoming Roadblocks: The Plastic Pollution Problem

The world is full of hardworking people helping to keep microfiber pollution in the conversation and to make it a problem that gets solved rather than a burden that gets bigger. We know that we are just one part of a much larger, global movement. At Filtrol, one of the biggest conversations we have as researchers and experts on plastic pollution is about the roadblocks that get in our way. Some of our challenges can be solved with engineering. Some with more funding or by working together. Some of them require a much bigger, more fundamental shift in our culture.

As much as we can, we’re going to work hard to overcome roadblocks and solve the plastic pollution problem. 

Roadblock 1 – Funding

Research and development costs money. Any time our engineers look to re-examine microfiber pollution and find different ways to stop it from continuing on its path, it costs something. Every iteration of our product is another investment of our resources.  And every investment of our resources is a commitment by our team and network. The work that the Filtrol does to stop plastics from leaving your home came because of engineering innovation. Which, in this context, is really just a fancy word for trying and then trying again and then again…and then again. Which is another fancy word for time and money. 

Roadblock 2 – Education

Many of the challenges that we face in our efforts to solve microfiber pollution exist within the human mind. Many people are not aware of the true extent and implications of plastic in our environment. This lack of awareness or education translates into apathy for many people. And apathy is a brutal adversary. 

So from our perspective, the more we can educate people about the realities around us, the more people we have to join us in our fight for our environment. 

Roadblock 3 – Worthy Competitors

We live in a culture filled with challenges and causes. From the months-long battle against COVID-19 to the shifting cultural tides regarding race relations throughout our country, there are many people fighting for many causes that are serious…and worthwhile.

Each fight takes education, money, and passion. 

At Filtrol, we understand that there are many worthwhile causes being discussed right now. Each cause has significant implications for our culture…for our communities, our country, and for our future. 

The roadblocks that we face in our efforts are not unique to Filtrol. They are, however, something that we must overcome if we are going to make an impact on the world around us. 

We remain as committed as ever to stopping plastic pollution and it’s devastating effects on our environment. We understand that this battle will take a long time, a lot of commitment and dedicated resources. We understand that in this fight, success is measured over long periods of time. 

Will you join us in our cause?

Turning Plastic Into Purpose

How Filtrol is making plastic pollution everyone’s problem with a simple solution.

Most often, an issue doesn’t become significant to someone until they are personally impacted by it. As a Minnesota-based company, we’ve grown up loving the outdoors. Hunting, fishing, hiking, water sports. From frigid winter sledding to hot summer days on the lakes, we love the outdoors. The more we see the massive impact that plastic pollution is having on our world – and especially the impact of microfiber pollution – the more committed we are to our cause.

The solution isn’t an easy one.

Our dependence on plastic seems to grow every day. In fact, there is a certain level of blindness that people tend to succumb to in the area of plastic consumption. It’s not that people are intentionally destructive or dismissive. It’s that familiarity and routine have made us not even notice the everyday decisions we could be making to lessen the impact of plastic on our ecosystem. Single-use plastics. Grocery bags. Water bottles. Cheap clothing. The list is growing every day of items we use that we don’t need to use, of habits we have that we don’t need to have. 

At Filtrol, we realize that plastic isn’t going away any time soon. We also realize (and even appreciate!) the conveniences that plastics have brought to our lives. With that convenience, however, we also recognize a responsibility.

And while we can’t solve all the world’s plastic problems (at least not yet), we can solve one. 

The thousands of microfibers and synthetic materials flushed from your home with every load of laundry can be almost completely eliminated with the simple installation and maintenance of the Filtrol at your home’s laundry station. 

The installation is simple, but the impact is profound. 

Learn more about the Filtrol and how you can stop plastics from leaving your home.
Join the conversation and be part of the solution.

​Plastic of All Sizes (and Unknown Impact)

Since some time in the 1950’s, the world has produced more than 10 million tons of plastic. For those who are counting, that’s 20,000,000,000,000 pounds. This plastic has been used in everything from single-use packaging or production products to toys, clothes, and furniture. It’s everywhere and in everything.

According to this report, we are consuming some 74,000 pieces of plastic each year. And while regulatory committees, federal oversight groups, and legislative bodies assure us that the presence of plastic isn’t constituting a problem, the non-biodegradable evidence would seem to say otherwise. Images of billions of pieces of plastic floating in our world’s oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams are everywhere. Pictures of birds, fish, and sea life with stomachs compacted with pieces of plastic garbage tell a different story.

Considering the sheer volume of plastic in our environment, can we really say that it is safe?

The debate on this topic has been swirling for years. Some plastics are considered less toxic than others. They sometimes contain thousands of different chemicals to make them more or less malleable, sturdier, more versatile, or easier to package, One of the chemicals used in many plastics contains BPA, which has been linked to everything from reproductive issues to asthma, cardiovascular disease, and type-2 diabetes. Read more about BPA’s effects on the human body here.  

We don’t know what all of the implications are to all of this plastic. We know some of the consequences of the use of plastic in our world (like the health effects listed above and the wildlife with stomachs full of it) but we don’t know all of them. The most important thing to remember is that with the massive influx of plastic happening on a daily…even hourly…basis comes a responsibility to protect ourselves, our homes, and our ecosystem from its impacts.

To read a full Consumer Report article related to this topic, click here

To see how Filtrol is fighting to protect our environment and stop plastic in its tracks, click here.

​Many Voices. One Goal.

Plastic Pollution and the Call to Clean Up Our World

Across the country and world are organizations, non-profits, businesses, environmentalists, entrepreneurs, and individuals working tirelessly to stop plastic pollution. While the problem is growing out of control, people are taking a variety of approaches to solving it. Some have adjusted manufacturing practices to reduce plastics in our ecosystem. Some are focused on eliminated synthetic fibers from clothing and others are focused on recycling the synthetics so that plastics at least aren’t entirely invasive and useless after a single use.

Legislation like what is seen here has moved toward national movements to outlaw single-use plastic bags. Clothing companies have gone completely plastic-free. Others have simply tried to make the best of the massive microscopic problem by reducing the use of plastics and making use of the plastics that already exist. Consider Ralph Lauren, for instance, who has started to make clothing made entirely out of plastic bottles.

Some have created solutions to capture microplastics. Since most of the plastics are in the form of microfibers (less than 5 mm in length), they are mostly invisible to the human eye. They are microscopic, and yet just as permanently affixed on our planet as the grocery bag you see blowing down the road or stuck in a sewer drain. Microscopic particles of plastic are found in the most remote parts of earth, even those seemingly untouched by humankind. Filters like Filtrol and tools like the Cora Ball are designed to stop the microplastics from ever leaving a home. 

Not everything about our past can be undone. The countless tons of plastic that have been released into our ecosystem aren’t going away. The concept of a solution to this may seem like an impossible uphill climb or even an altogether useless battle. Our work in addressing plastic pollution won’t undo all the damage that’s been done to wildlife, to the food chain, our drinking water, and even our dinner plates.

But solving the problem of plastic pollution is ultimately about changing our future.

Human innovation will continue to address the plastic that’s already been spewed onto our planet. Some solutions will be more effective than others, and time will tell how effective they are.

The great thing about Filtrol and the work we’re doing is that even our competitors are our friends. We’re all working toward the same goal: to take care of our planet, to do our best to clean up past mistakes, and to work hard to not repeat those mistakes. We’re protecting our planet, preserving its natural resources, and keeping plastic out of our waterways, our wildlife, our food, and our drinking water. 

​Aftermarket Washing Machine Filters – Do You Need One?

When asked about washing machine filters, the response from many consumers is, “What is that?”

As far as pollution mitigation and conservancy goes, washing machine filtration is still a relatively new conversation. It really became a topic of discussion in the mid-2010’s, as companies like Patagonia leading a discussion about taking environmental responsibility for micro-plastics. Since then, it’s a been a steadily growing movement of people who recognize that we cannot shamelessly and thoughtlessly consume without considering the implications of our industrialized society.

Our innovations have a cost. The convenience of one-time-use plastics and manufacturing advancements require some environmental accountability from all of us: as manufacturers, as innovators, and as consumers. We need to be making good choices with our use of plastic while also creating effective solutions for plastic’s impact in our world.

Aftermarket Washing Machine Filters

Do you need a filter for your washing machine?

This is more a question about what you’re washing and where your water goes when it drains from your washing machine. The majority of clothes worn are part of the “Fast Fashion” movement (cheap clothing made of man-made fibers). With each wash, these fabrics shed microscopic fibers that are actually made of plastic. The water that leaves your washing machine — and ultimately your home — is filled with thousands of pieces of plastic. Whether it ends up in your septic or your city’s water treatment system depends entirely on where you live.

But the results are the same. Filtration isn’t catching these plastic particles, and they ultimately end up in our freshwater sources, in our food supplies, and scattered throughout our ecosystem.

The short answer is that you do need an aftermarket washing machine filter. The right one can stop more than 90% of the plastic that would otherwise be dumped into our ecosystem.

At Filtrol, we’re committed to two vital initiatives:

  1. Education – We recognize that most people don’t do anything about the plastic pollution problem in our world because they either don’t know about it or they don’t know what they can do about it. The more they know, the more equipped they are to make a difference.
  2. Solutions – The Filtrol is addressing the problem of microfiber pollution. With each iteration and update to the technology, we are effectively stopping plastic in its tracks and protecting the ecosystem that we value so much.

As you consider whether you should install an aftermarket washing machine filter to your laundry, take a look through some of the resources we’re providing to both educate and equip you for the fight for the environment, our most precious resource.

Plastic Pollution, Drinking Water, and Our Job to Clean Up the Environment

Is plastic pollution in our drinking water killing us?

In August of 2019, the World Health Organization announced that they could not find any measurable connection between plastic-polluted drinking water and health issues in humans. This absence of evidence is not necessarily the evidence of absence. Just because connections haven’t been made between plastic pollution and health problems, that doesn’t mean there’s no effects that will be discovered.

Plastic, after all, is a relatively new invention. It’s just a little over 100 years old.

WHO is not suggesting that plastic-contaminated water is healthy. With scientists predicting that plastic can take 1,000 years or longer to decompose in a landfill, the long-term effects of plastic in our ecosystem and in our bodies has yet to truly be determined. We need more time and more research to determine the true implications of its presence.

It’s About More than Our Health

At Filtrol, our efforts to remove plastic from everyday use so that we can remove it from our ecosystem is about more than effects to our drinking water or our health. 

We want to do everything we can to protect our planet. We are committed to creating a system of accountability for manufacturers who are contributing to the massive amounts of synthetic materials in our natural environment. We are working to engineer the most effective filtration and mitigation solutions to address the massive quantities of synthetic fibers pouring into our environment. We’re addressing the problem for its impact on us, on our food and water, on wildlife, and on the environment we love. 

It’s about more than our drinking water. 

While we don’t yet know the true implications of plastic in our food and water, we do know that we all have a responsibility to protect our planet. At Filtrol, this means that we’re moving forward one day at a time, with new technology, new solutions, and new innovations to stop plastic from ever leaving your home.