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! 

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

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. 

#2 HDPE

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

#4 LDPE

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. 

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.

Movements Against Plastic

Movements Against Plastic

If you’ve been tracking the plastic pollution issues plaguing our planet, you’ve undoubtedly heard that by 2050, at current trends, there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish. Plastic is everywhere. Milk cartons, straws, fishing line, plastic bags…the garbage is piling up. Microscopic pieces of plastic from clothing fibers and laundry wastewater are becoming part of the ecosystem. Plastic is being manufactured, used, and disposed at unquantifiable numbers. Consumer demands aren’t decreasing and mitigating efforts aren’t progressing fast enough. 

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t efforts being made. Governments are rewarding companies with plastic-free philosophies of business and production. Movements are gaining traction that give people more affordable access to plastic-free products and services. From shipping materials to innovations with recycled glass, the companies and organizations that are looking to make a difference deserve our attention…and our business. 

Here are a few companies worth looking at: 

Algramo provides sustainable shopping solutions to consumers, with an RFID tag that allows items like shampoo bottles and food containers to be refilled. It reduces the consumption of single-use plastics and has shown a marked, measurable impact. 

Loop by TerraCycle delivers groceries in reusable containers. It’s essentially taking life back to the days when having a milkman was a thing. The containers that carried your food are returned, sanitized, and reused. Think about the implications of a product like this with a single product — like milk cartons. It is estimated that Americans consume approximately 21 billion gallons of milk every year. That’s a lot of plastic. 

The obvious final product we’ll highlight is our very own Filtrol. There are a handful of other products on the market that are seeking to do the same thing we’re after – all with varying levels of success. But the effectiveness of the Filtrol is unparalleled, eliminating more than 90% of plastic particles from effluent. The filtration processes and media have been developed, scrutinized, critiqued, engineered, and redesigned time and time again, constantly improving our catch rates and making sure we’re as effective as possible in stopping plastic in its tracks. 


As you look at the massive plastic pollution issue facing the globe, resolve to be a part of the solution. By utilizing the services and products of companies like Loop and Algramo, you’re helping to make this planet better for future generations. 

Plastic Pollution – Impact is Closer than You Think

When it comes to plastic pollution, advancements in research and development are making it easier for everyone to get involved. From easy-to-install filtration solutions to alternative materials and products that don’t put plastics into the environment, many companies, organizations, and groups around the world are actively pursuing pathways toward a plastic-free life. 

Addressing the Plastic Crisis

Aside from the advancements in technology and efficacy of filtration, it is essential that people also adopt a change in lifestyle. Better choices can lead to less contribution of plastic to our environment. By paying attention to the fabrics we purchase and the single-use plastics we use, we can make a small impact in this massive problem. And if thousands – and even millions – of people make that same decision, the impact is even greater. 

From a solutions-perspective, most homes don’t currently have a filter in place to catch the microfibers from their laundry. So getting a Filtrol installed into every home in America would make an immense impact on the amount of plastic being dumped into our oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams. Making a Filtrol a standard 

At Filtrol, we aren’t content with where we are.

While we are excited to offer the most effective laundry filtration solution for plastic pollution, we know there’s more that needs to be done. We need more effective solutions. We need more people to make the plastic pollution issue a personal one. We need more people, companies, and even governments making these advancements in plastic pollution filtration a cornerstone to life in our world. This is why we’re working on the Filtrol 2.0, with a sleeker design that is easier to maintain and has a more effective filtration solution. It’s why we’ve invented the FiberSnare, that makes effective filtration even easier with a lower cost and an even simpler install. 

When it comes to the massive microscopic plastic pollution problem, the impact we can make in our world is closer than you think. Solutions are within reach. One one hand, plastic pollution seems to be past a point of no return. It really is everywhere. The sheer volume of synthetic materials that has invaded our ecosystem has many wondering if we’ll ever know a plastic-free world.

But that’s only one part of the conversation.

At Filtrol, we want to be leading the other side of the conversation: the side that says we can all work together toward a cleaner, plastic-free world. The only way to know that is to start making solutions a part of our every day life. If we can do that, we’ll start to see an impact. 

The Global Plastic Action Partnership

Have you heard of the Global Plastic Action Partnership?

Basically, it’s a combined effort of governments, businesses, and cultural and civil influencers to make plastic pollution a topic of conversation, an object of legislation, and an effort for remediation. 

When you consider that 16 billion tons of plastic makes its way into the ocean every year, and when you consider the massive impact it has on wildlife and even on humankind, you realize that this isn’t a conversation about politics or preferences. In fact, at the pace we’re currently on, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by the year 2050. Read more here at the World Economic Forum’s site.

It’s not a question of whether someone is liberal or conservative or whether they believe that global warming is something to talk about. It’s not about the many divisive topics discussed on the 24-hour news cycle. 

It’s simply a discussion of stewardship. It’s a question of whether we’re going to be responsible with the opportunities we have to leave the world a better place than we found it. The efforts we take — or don’t take — to slow the release of plastics into our ecosystem will determine what this world looks like for our children and grandchildren. 

The Global Plastic Action Partnership is building its effort around the three primary pillars of awareness, research, and solutions. 

By raising awareness and leading more conversations, people can engage in meaningful discussions about the true impact of plastic on wildlife, water, and humanity. 

By investing in research we can begin to learn the true impact of plastic on our world, the pathways forward toward a plastic-free possibility, and the opportunities to change the current trends particularly within nations that are the largest contributors to the problem. 

By researching and developing solutions that either eliminate the need for plastic production or remove it before it pollutes the planet, the Global Plastic Action Partnership is moving the conversation from the theoretical to the practical.

If you haven’t yet joined the conversation, it’s not too late. There are good conversations happening around the globe. If you haven’t researched the problem, it’s worth looking into. You’ll be amazed…and probably a bit disturbed…by what you discover. There are also good solutions being developed and solid efforts being taken by people both with lifestyle changes and with tech advancements that are moving the needle on this issue. 

As you look at the massively impacting issue of plastic pollution that surrounds all of us, make sure you’re taking part in good conversations based in good research. And above all, be part of the solution, with efforts like the Global Plastic Action Partnership and by installing plastic mitigating solutions like the Filtrol. 

The Great Lakes and the Impacts of Plastic Pollution

For those living in the Upper Midwest, the Great Lakes are a way of life, from fishing and other water activities to vacation destinations and serene sunrises and sunsets. And the lakes are much more than recreational! The Great Lakes also make up the largest source of freshwater on the planet — at more than 20% of our fresh water.   

  • Lake Superior – the largest and coldest of the Great Lakes – reaches depths of more than 1300 feet. 
  • All 5 Great Lakes together make up more than 5,400 cubic miles of water. That’s 6 quadrillion gallons. That’s a lot of water. 
  • More than 30,000,000 people rely on the Great Lakes for drinking water – in both Canada and the United States. 

From the drinking water for more than 10,000,000 United States citizens to the habitat for more than 170 different species of fish — along with countless other types of marine life — the Great Lakes are a source of nourishment and life for animals and people alike. Many efforts have been made to preserve these vital ecosystems. However, years upon years of neglect within our manufacturing practices along with many bad habits and careless activities by all of us have had a massive impact. And it’s not something that can be ignored. 

  • More than 22 million pounds of plastic pollution end up in the Great Lakes every year. 
  • There are approximately 112,000 micro-particles of plastic per square mile of Great Lakes water. 

The pollutant particles that float through the water end up looking like food particles to fish, who then consume them. They often times stay in the digestive tract of the animal and act as sponges, undigested and absorbing poisons and toxins in the water. They end up staying in their bodies, being consumed by larger fish that are higher up on the food chain. Often times ending up in our food. 

From a water consumption standpoint, the story is the same. 

These microscopic pieces of plastic entered the Great Lakes through our wastewater. They made it through the water treatment and wastewater filtration systems because of their size (microplastics measure less than 5mm in length, with some of them virtually invisible). And when our water filtration systems pump water back into our treatment plants, those same microscopic pollutants will slip through the filtration media once again. It puts plastic into our drinking water. 

As you look at the fish lining the shelves at the supermarket, the beer on tap at your favorite brewery, or the water that’s being used for drinking and cooking, consider all that you’re not seeing. And while the problem is massive and the impacts are still being assessed, it’s worth considering the urgency of this matter. The more that we take seriously today the impact of plastic on the Great Lakes, the more we can start moving the needle on plastic pollution. 

Join Us at Filtrol as we work to stop plastic from entering the Great Lakes.