What might look like a tiny problem is having a big impact on our lakes, rivers, and oceans, and affecting the health of the planet and humans alike. The synthetic fabrics that are used in our daily wardrobes shed small fibers when we do our laundry. And, though some get caught in the lint traps of our dryers, most of these small synthetic fibers are washed down the drain in our washing machines. It is estimated that as much as 1 million microfibers are released in the average load of laundry.
The key issue is that these fibers are too small to be caught by municipal wastewater treatment facilities and get released into our bodies of water. Furthermore, these micro-plastics (non-biodegradable, micro-plastics are 1/5 the diameter of a human hair) are consumed by sea life and, ultimately humans.
The good news is that there are relatively easy solutions to help combat this type of pollution. One company has developed a “lint trap” for your washing machine. It filters out these tiny plastics when doing a load of wash. The chemicals in conventional laundry detergents tend to clog the filtering element and aren’t good for the environment, so Microfiber Solutions recommends plant- and mineral-based laundry soap like Biokleen.
Biokleen has been working with an alliance of non-profit organizations to try to offer solutions. The groups include The Surfrider Foundation, Five Gyres, Heal the Bay, and the Plastic Pollution Coalition. Learn more by going to microfibersolution.com. #CleanforGood