How Your Clean Laundry is Polluting the Ocean

You’ve probably heard how plastic pollution is increasing globally at an alarming rate. In addition to the more obvious items such as plastic bottles, take-out containers, and single-use plastic packaging, washing your laundry is also contributing to pollution on a micro-scale, releasing tiny microplastics called microfibers into your wastewater. 

What are microfibers?

Microfibers are microplastics measuring less than 5mm in diameter. They are minuscule particles released from synthetic fabrics such as polyester, nylon, microsuede, and lycra.

How does washing my clothes release microfibers?

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 back up the food chain to humans. Microfibers also make their way back into our drinking water because they are too small to filter out.

How Can I Prevent Microfiber Pollution?

Buy Sustainable Fabrics

When you are shopping for new clothes, look for natural fabrics such as cotton, wool, linen, etc. Since these fabrics are not derived from oil, they do not release plastic-based fibers and break down naturally in the environment. 

Adjust the Way You Wash Your Clothes

There are many changes you can make to your normal wash loads that can help reduce the number of microfibers that are released in each load. Adjustments such as avoiding delicate settings, using liquid detergent instead of powder, line drying your clothes, and using less water in each load can help prevent some microfibers from releasing into the environment.  

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.