Turning Ideas into Action

Plastic Pollution Needs More Than Words 

The more that time passes, the more we’re learning about the far-reaching impacts of plastic in our ecosystem. Whether we’re talking about grocery bags washing into the ocean, soda can rings entangling wildlife, or microscopic plastic particles in our drinking water and food, the more we study it the more we discover its massive impacts. 

At some point, ideas need to turn into action if we’re going to start impacting our environment in positive ways. While individual actions should be taken, such as stopping the use of single-use plastics and picking up plastics on roadsides and beaches, we all need to consider investing in some more comprehensive solutions to this problem. 

Is legislation the answer?

So far, 8 states in the US have outlawed the use of single-use plastic bags. In addition, various cities and towns across the country have made the move. The idea that we are going to push every state to this point of legislation is not out of the question. What once seemed like an impossibility is now on the horizon. 

But that’s just the start. 

What needs addressed is bigger than trips to the grocery store. We need to solve the problems of litter and laundry. We need to educate people on what’s happening, what the implications are, and what our options are.

At Filtrol, we don’t believe that the sky is falling. We don’t believe that this plastic ship has sailed. Quite the contrary, actually. We are hopeful and optimistic. We see a lot of good people and good companies working hard alongside us in this fight.  We see good solutions on the horizon for solving plastic problems of all sizes. 

Plastic Pollution is Solvable

But we have to all move beyond words. We have to start implementing small changes and voting in big changes. We have to change our habits and change our manufacturing standards. We have to be take seriously the charge in front of us to protect the environment and be part of turning ideas into action. 

FILTROL – Turning the Tides on Plastic

At Filtrol, our goals are somewhat aspirational. We say things like “stopping plastic” and “solving the plastic pollution problem.” We are making some big, bold claims and setting our sites on some pretty extravagant deliverables. 

But we’re not naive. 

We know that the problem we’re up against is enormous. We know that the real numbers on the amount of plastic entering our streams, rivers, and oceans are simply estimates. We know that the implications to the careless manufacturing and disposal of single-use plastics are still up in the air. We know that plastic is being consumed by wildlife and by humans at alarming rates. We know that plastic is being manufactured at rates that can’t even be compared to the rates at which they’re breaking down. 

But we’re not slowing down. 

We are working hard on newer, more efficient, more affordable versions of the Filtrol, with prototypes and filtration media lining our shelves. We are researching and learning from our competitors — knowing that we are in the minority of businesses who actually celebrate the work of those on the same mission as we are. We are working on more effective methods for educating people on the harmful implication of plastic and more productive ways to get a Filtrol into the hands — and onto the laundry systems — of every home and business. 

Join our Fight?

If you don’t already have a Filtrol installed on your home or commercial laundry system, consider buying one. It’s a worthwhile investment. If you don’t know much about plastic pollution, learn more (link to blog). To keep up-to-date on what we’re doing at Filtrol to turn the tides on plastic pollution, click here

Earth Day is on April 22nd!

Earth Day is coming up on April 22nd! Now is the time to start planning; to start thinking about what you will do this year!

Earth Day Opportunities for Impact

Earth Day is a great opportunity to organize a community-oriented event that will engage people and make a difference. You can do something alone or with a few friends or you can think bigger and organize a city-wide activity. 

Raise money to donate reusable grocery bags. Organize a community event to clean up litter at a park or beach. Plant trees. Spread mulch and plant flowers. 

There are endless opportunities for Earth Day activities! 

The goal of these events is to help people to take ownership of the world around them. You’re not asking them to join a political movement or to handcuff themselves to trees in the forest. You’re inviting them to dream bigger about what your home, neighborhood, community, or city can look like and feel like. 

Organize a Green Litter Movement

Not all litter is bad.

Let’s quickly clarify that statement. 

Consider buying wildflower seeds like these and hand them out to your neighbors and friends. Encourage them to toss them; to throw them along ditches, roadways, and boulevards. To hand them out to others to do the same. Before long, our neighborhoods will be glittered with color and beauty. 

Make this coming Earth Day one where a greener, healthier, more beautiful type of litter becomes part of our communities! 

Let April 22nd be Day 1

The goal of something like Earth Day is not for one day of care and concern followed by 364 days of neglect. Instead, think of ways to make April 22nd the first day of some new initiatives in your life, your home, or your community. 

Make this coming Earth Day the start of a whole new effort to make smarter, more eco-friendly decisions. Whether it’s the day you officially stop using plastic grocery bags or its the day you start your “Plant One Tree a Month” initiative, April 22nd can be the start of a whole new way of life! 

At Filtrol, we are excited to partner with people and organizations who are serious about protecting our environment and stopping the onslaught of plastic pollution all around us. 

What will you do this Earth Day to protect our environment? 

Plastic and Our World – A Shared Mission

Plastic and Our World – A Shared Mission

According to The Nature Conservancy, “If current trends continue, roughly 12 billion metric tons of plastic waste will be in our landfills or polluting the environment by 2050—the equivalent of almost 80 million blue whales.”

This statistic and others like it are sounding an alarm unilaterally across the globe. The problem is growing. The conversation is being followed by more people. Governments and NGOs are getting involved. Homeowners are getting involved. Children are part of the solution and so are grandparents. It’s a universally relevant and necessary conversation, because the plastic problem isn’t just not going away. It’s exponentially growing. 

We All Have a Part to Play

Convenience is sometimes irresponsible. Single use plastics and cheaper manufacturing are turning out to be much more costly to our environment and our way of life than once known. And now it’s time to decide if we’re okay with ignoring the implications. 

The call to stop the flow of plastic waste is getting louder and louder as more time passes. As more plastic is released into our environment each minute and as more opportunities arise to make practical, thoughtful changes to our normal, everyday routines, we are given the chance to start making a change. 

It’s not even necessarily an “all or none” invitation, even though some would frame it that way. 

Reduction is Something

It seems that many in this conversation speak in extremes and therefore isolate most people. The majority of people in this conversation legitimately care about the issue of plastic pollution but don’t know how to make a difference. They don’t see how their family of 5 choosing to not use plastic silverware or straws is going to save the whales. 

But it’s not “all or none.” It’s better choices. It’s reducing each one of our own plastic impacts on our world. It’s about making some changes, starting to reduce the number of plastic bags you use at the grocery store. Investing in higher quality clothing that keeps plastics out of their materials. Partnering with brands that are committed to a healthier planet. 

Ultimately, this isn’t a discussion about politics or belief systems. The data is clear that plastic is everywhere. We can clearly see how our manufacturing innovations have led to global pollution. And now it’s simply time to start making some changes. To start reducing our use of single-use plastics. To start caring about the fabrics in our clothing. To stop plastic before it leaves our homes. 

Read the full article from the Nature Conservancy entitled, “It’s Now or Forever: Let’s stop the flow of plastic wastehere.

Learn more about what FIltrol is doing to make plastic pollution a problem we all can help solve. 

How Our Clothes are Getting into our Food

How Our Clothes are Getting into our Food

When someone says the word “plastic pollution,” a million different images come into our minds. 

Plastic bags floating in the ocean. Six-pack encasements wrapped around a turtle’s neck. Beaches riddled with garbage or birds’ stomachs filled with plastic straws and wrappers. Plastic water bottles filling landfills and giant garbage patches buoyant in the ocean. 

But what’s hard to picture is the microscopic particles of synthetic fibers that are washed from our laundry. They leave our homes unfiltered and flow through our water treatment processes and into our ecosystem. These microscopic pieces of plastic end up in our drinking water and food. They are found in the most remote landscapes and are even 7 miles underneath the surface of the ocean. 

So how do these plastics end up in our food? And even before that, how do plastics end up in our clothes? 

Fabrics like polyester, nylon, acrylic and polyamide are all made of synthetic (which means “chemically-based” or “man-made”) materials. Plastics are either manufactured specifically for these fabrics or are recycled and reused to manufacture them. During the wash, rinse, and spin cycles of household and industrial laundering, millions upon millions of the pieces of synthetic material are flushed out with the water, soap, and dirt. They don’t break down. They don’t biodegrade. They simply pollute every space they inhabit.

Many of the fabrics and materials manufactured of these synthetic compounds are attributed with the “fast fashion” industry, where clothing is made cheap and fast so that it can be distributed easily As our awareness of plastic pollution and its impact on our world becomes more and more at the center of our discussions, we discover new implications to things we once considered to be conveniences. 

Filtrol Provides an Answer

At Filtrol, we aren’t necessarily cutting away the plastic that’s wrapped around the turtle’s neck…though we would if we could. But what we are doing? We’re stopping the fibers that are shedding from your clothes from ever leaving your home or facility. We’re cleaning out the wastewater that’s being pumped into water treatment plants, so that billions of plastic particles don’t devastate our ecosystem. 

5 Centuries of Decomposition

Did you know that it can take up to 500 years for certain pieces of plastic to decompose (if it ever decomposes!). Specifically looking at polystyrene, the packing materials often used for poultry and meat packing, egg cartons, and for shipping (among other things) can be here for centuries. It gets washed into our water supplies and dumped into our streets. Even the pieces that are properly disposed of will not leave our environment. Man-made, chemically-engineered materials like polystyrene are convenient and yet incredible costly. 

As consumers, it’s about more than reading the data or hearing the facts. We need to know what’s happening in relation to our environment, our manufacturing standards, our recycling effort if we’re ever going to know our path forward. 

Education

It’s important that we be educated on many fronts in this discussion. An understanding of what’s happening in manufacturing standards, legislation efforts, and plastic pollution mitigation can help us make the right and necessary strides toward protecting our environment. 

The more you research, the more you’ll discover. More and more research has gone into the topic of plastic pollution over the past several years. The costly impacts on our ecosystem by manufacturing breakthroughs are beginning to be measured in very practical ways.

Action

Moving your efforts to understand plastic pollution should result in action at some point. Getting involved can mean volunteering for a local plastic pollution cause. It can mean pushing for tighter restrictions in the manufacturing of toxic products like polystyrene. It can also mean fundraising and giving to causes that are making a difference. 

Action can also be as simple by making small changes in your own life. Using less one-time use plastics and supporting plastic-free initiatives like bringing your own grocery bags take little effort but make a big difference. And while it may seem to make a microscopic impact on such a massive issue, that’s just fine. Because as we’ve learned from plastic pollution itself, that which is microscopic can have a massive impact! 


Installing a Filtrol is one great way to start making a difference with the amount of plastic that’s ending up in our environment. To get yours, click here

Getting Back to Real Water

Getting Back to Real Water

Removing Plastic and Attacking Pollution with Filtrol

Plastic has been around for over a century. Demands for convenience and lower cost have made it an essential part of our manufacturing. It is present in just about every facet of life, from the food we eat to the cars we drive, plastic is playing a part everywhere we look. Our kids are playing with it. Our chefs are cooking with it. It’s everywhere. 

All waterways eventually make their way to our oceans. This makes the ocean the ultimate destination of every waterway around the world. From our wastewater to creeks, streams, and rivers, water flows toward the oceans. As this water flows, it picks up pollutants along the way. 

And these pollutants aren’t always visible. 

A simple Google search will reveal plastic’s presence as pollution in our environment in various forms. From large pieces of debris floating in the ocean to microscopic particles of plastic being ingested by tiny ocean life, plastic is everywhere. The actual presence of plastic in our environment have been observed since at least the late 1960’s, when a group of scientists observed microplastics in the ocean when studying plankton. And since first being discovered, many efforts have been taken to stop plastic pollution. 

The effort to stop plastic pollution from its widespread impact on our ecosystem has taken on many forms over the years. Some groups are trying to remove plastic already in our environment. Various technologies have been tested, developed, and deployed to gather up the plastics of all sizes that are polluting our land and water. Movements have been started to pick up trash and clean up our water. Some are trying to stop plastic from being produced, championing the use of biodegradable, environmentally-friendly products rather than synthetic plastics. These efforts are sometimes simple grassroots awareness campaigns that encourage consumers to support green companies. Other times, these efforts are effecting legislation, manufacturing protocols, and global platforms for discussion. Others are trying to stop plastic pollution in its tracks. New technologies and innovations are capturing plastic before it ever leaves our manufacturing facilities, our water treatment plants, and our homes.

At Filtrol, we’re stopping plastic pollution before it ever leaves your home. And we’re proud to partner with companies around the global who are part of the effort to protect our planet. 

If you haven’t installed a Filtrol at your home’s laundry tub, now is the time.

It’s a simple installation, a small investment, and a massively impacting decision. 

Not All Plastic is Equal

Not All Plastic is Equal

At Filtrol, we have committed all that we are to putting a stop to plastic pollution, and some types of plastic are taking a bigger toll on our environment than others. About 8 million tons of plastic are entering our oceans each year. With so many issues to address and so much plastic already released into the environment, it’s hard to know where to start. From researching plastic’s long-term impact to developing tools and technologies to deal with it, the issues, topics, discussions, and challenges of plastic pollution are a global conversation with massive implications. 

But…Did you know that not all plastic pollution is equal? 

Some plastic pollutants have proven to be more damaging and impacting to our ecosystem than others. According to this article from Maritime Executive, fishing debris, plastic bags, balloons and plastic utensils are the most impacting plastic pollutants in our oceans. Each of them have a different impact, and each of them require a different strategy to address. 

Sometimes a single piece of plastic has a direct impact on wildlife, such as when a piece of fishing gear or a plastic piece obstructs a whale’s digestive tract or pierces a sea animal’s stomach. Other times, a steady consumption of microscopic pieces of plastic leads to a build up of the pollution over time. The impacts to the natural order of our ecosystem are still being measured. 

So what can be done?

Like you’ve probably heard before and will certainly hear again, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to the plastic pollution problem. We need to change our manufacturing standards. We need to change our habits and values. We need to upgrade our technology and update our equipment. 

We need technology that will capture microscopic plastic particles and we need tech that will capture large pieces. We need manufacturing that will eliminate the use of harmful plastics and we need innovations that will capture plastics before they’re released into our ecosystem. We need legislative support that will help us with each of these. 

At Filtrol, we will stay the course we’re on. We’re not just stopping microplastics from leaving your home through your laundry’s wastewater (which happens to be one of the primary sources of microfiber pollution), we’re developing more effective solutions. We’re working together with other likeminded groups to go further, accomplish more, and make a bigger impact. 


Join our fight to protect our environment from this onslaught of plastic. 

Exponential: Plastic’s Presence to Triple within 20 Years

At current rates of pollution, our planet’s oceans will have three times as much plastic in them by 2040 than they do now. This expected exponential increase in plastic is an indication that common solutions and simple changes in behavior aren’t going to suffice. As much as we encourage people to not use disposable plastic grocery bags or to change their face soap, plastic is continuing to enter our ecosystem at an alarming rate.

According to a new analysis published in the journal of Science, with the tech that’s available today, plastic in our oceans could be eliminated by as much as 80%. Further advancements of existing solutions coupled with research and development of new solutions could inch us globally closer to that 100% containment marker. 

But 100% containment of plastic pollution in our oceans is a bigger hurdle than advancing technology forward. 

The only solution that is going to work has to be bigger than a simple change in behavior or an advancement in tech. It has to involve something much more collaborative and much more  innovations in technology, international buy-in, significant financial backing, and a commitment from people everywhere to accept changes in daily routines and convenience. In summary: This problem is complex enough that it’s not going to be solved simply.

Read the full article from the World Economic Forum here.

To see what Filtrol is doing to do our part to get us closer to 100% containment, watch this video.

A Piece of the Plastic Puzzle

The global plastic problem continues to grow and the implications for our world and for the generations to follow are still being measured. Plastic is being found in the most remote parts of the earth: at the deepest parts of the ocean; high in the mountains; deep in the woods; far out into the middle of nowhere. It’s being detected everywhere and its impact is still being deciphered. 

It’s a complex problem being fed by manufacturing, by consumerism, by production processes, and by recycling standards. It’s being perpetuated by habits and lazy behaviors and being ignored by world leaders and CEOs. 

At Filtrol, we are one piece of the puzzle. 

Our easy-to-install, easy-to-maintain lint filter stops more than 90% of the microfiber and plastic particles being flushed out of your washing machine’s wastewater. By stopping the microplastics before they leave your house, they’re not able to enter the ecosystem. When these plastics aren’t stopped, they enter the water treatment system, working their way past filtration systems in municipal treatment plants and back into nature. They find themselves in freshwater sources, food sources like fish and birds, and eventually onto our dinner plates. Millions upon millions of plastic particles are pushed into our ecosystem daily.

We know that our technology at Filtrol has a significant role in how this plastic pollution narrative plays out. Plastic pollution, after all, isn’t going to be solved only with a simple advancement in technology or a single policy decision in Washington or in the international community. It is going to require something much bigger than a washing machine filter. It will require international buy-in. It will require policies and standards that will be followed. It will require funding and follow through. 

And we’re here to fill in our piece of the puzzle. 

To see how Filtrol will make a difference to your home’s plastic pollution output, watch here: