How do washing machines contribute to microplastic pollution

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ocean plastic pollution

One of the greatest disasters that man has done to nature is called “microplastics”. They are everywhere – from distant places with no human habitations for hundreds of miles to the water we drink and the food we eat. In this article, we are going to see: what are microplastics, how do washing machines contribute to microplastic pollution, and what can we do to reduce it. 

What are microplastics?

Microplastics are plastic particles which are microscopic in size from 50 µm to 5 mm (0.05-5mm) across that can be found basically everywhere around (and inside) us. The term is used for the first time in 2004 to describe small plastic particles that were found on a British beach by the team of Richard Thompson, a marine ecologist at the University of Plymouth, UK. Since then, scientists have seen microplastics everywhere they have looked for: in shellfish, table salt, Arctic snow, drinking water and beer; they are even drifting in the air or falling with rain over mountains and cities.
Plastics in the Ocean

Most common reasons for microplastics formation:

– Decomposing of larger plastics (mostly plastic bottles & packaging of goods);

– Clothing – synthetic clothes release microfibers while being washed;

– Microbeads – polyethylene beads found in soaps, toothpaste and detergents.

Without any surprise, two of the main reasons for microplastics’ formation are the disintegration of larger plastics and the use of certain cosmetics like face scraps, soaps and toothpaste, that contain microbeads (polyethylene beads).

It is concerning that the second way of producing microplastics is something that we do every day – doing the laundry. It is estimated that one load of clothes in a washing machine releases about 700,000 fibers per wash.

Microfibres are tiny pieces of plastic used in clothes and they are thinner than a strand of hair. They pass through washing machine filters and water treatment plants ending up in rivers and oceans.
eat drink brathe microplastics

Why are microplastics harmful?

Microplastics put humans at risk in three different ways: physical, chemical and as a host for other microorganisms to gather and breed on. Each plastic is made of a different mix of chemicals and thus makes it difficult to assess the risks microplastics may pose for humans.

washingmachine pollution

How do washing machines contribute to microplastic pollution?

Most of the clothes we wear are made of plastics such as polyester, acrylic and nylon. When we wash our clothes in the washing machine, millions of microfibers are shed into the drain and after that into the nature.
stop plastic pollution

How to reduce microplastics?

Thinking about how plastic is made and what happens to it after it has been used makes a difference. Perhaps the most important step lies in changing the way we think and behave. We should really consider doing we need to use some types of plastics, like disposable forks and cups for example. Some more tips and ideas for a more eco-friendly way of life you can find in our related article: The choices we make everyday.

Yes, cleaning and recycle tips are something that we have all heard of or we try to contribute with. But what about the second vast way of producing microplastics- laundry making? Do we need to stop doing the laundry, do we have to buy a special and expensive washing machine? No, all of these are not required because EV ATLANTIS has the perfect solution for you – Steam Brush.

EV Steam Brush

With the Steam Brush of EV ATLANTIS, you can disinfect fabric and textiles without compromising their appearance. It is extremely convenient not only for clothes shops but also and for domestic use. You can now freshen your coats, trousers, t-shirts and jackets easily and within a few minutes without having to wash them so often or bring them to the dry cleaners’.

By using the EV Steam Brush you can significantly decrease the amount of washings and you will not only contribute for a better and cleaner planet, with fewer microplastics but also save a lot of time and money.