Microfiber Pollution: What is it?
Some people have heard of it. But not everyone. It’s still a relatively unknown problem while its effects are becoming increasingly visible. Governments are beginning to hear about it from concerned citizens and some state and local governments are beginning to monitor it. Environmental groups are beginning to educate on it. Eco-friendly companies are beginning to address it. Some are trying to find solutions. Some aren’t quite aware that we need one.
In short, microfiber pollution is a term that refers to microscopic particles of plastic that get washed from our homes and into our streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans. They never break down and end up in our drinking water and food.
Microfiber pollutants enter our ecosystem through the recycling process.
About 47 billion plastic bottles get recycled each year around the globe. Those recycled bottles become the manufacturing building blocks for many common items found in our homes…many items that are in our own closets. Synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon are made of recycled plastic bottles. Fleeces. Sweatshirts and T-shirts. Denim. Sleeping bags. Winter coats. These, among other household items, all use the materials manufactured directly from the recycling of plastic bottles.
While it’s environmentally conscious on one hand to make good use of the waste that these synthetic materials are causing, it should not be ignored that there are side effects…setbacks to our innovations.
Just as plastic water bottles do not leave our ecosystem on their own, neither do the microscopic versions of them.
When bottles are recycled, they are shredded into tiny particles and eventually woven into threads for various synthetic fibers.They no longer exist in the form of the water bottle, but their materials don’t go away.
So when a load of laundry is cleaned, wastewater gets flushed from the machine and through the home’s drainage. It moves to a city’s water treatment plant before it is reintroduced into our environment. Hundreds of thousands of particles, contaminants to our eco-system, leave our homes with each wash, and their minuscule size allows them eventually pass right through the treatment process—without being filtered out. They end up back in our drain fields and waterways, entering the fish and game we eat and the water we drink.
Microfiber pollution. It’s microscopic in size but poses a tremendous threat. It is substituting healthy water for contaminated, plastic-soaked water. It’s in our food. It’s in our homes. It’s in our water. And that’s all because it’s in our clothes.
To find out more about what Filtrol is doing to stop microfiber pollution before it ever leaves your home, watch this video.