The release of plastic microfibers from synthetic clothing problem demands a solution-oriented collaborative effort from industry—including fashion companies and producers of washing machines, detergents, and yarns—to find sustainable long-term solutions to stop the release of microplastic fibers from laundry washing.
The partnership between Plastic Soup Foundation and Parley for the Oceans will lead a process of fundraising and development to implement a global Eco Innovation Challenge focusing on the textiles and fashion industry, and the washing machine sector, which will be opened for entry in April 2017. Part of the partnership is a series of events, hackathons, and an ongoing collaboration process which engage inventors, scientists and creators in the development of the following types of solutions:
1) A mechanical internal and/or external washing machine filter to catch the plastic fibers;
2) Synthetic yarns and fabrics that do not release plastic fibers during washing;
3) Eco-friendly coatings to prevent the release of plastic fibers;
4) Eco-friendly washing detergents, which prevent the shedding of plastic fibers;
5) A yet undiscovered innovation beyond imagination.
The Ocean Clean Wash Challenge is based on solutions that reduce microfiber release from laundry waste water, and the Call to Action will be announced on April 2017. The Eco Innovation Challenge will have a prize of ONE MILLION euros to realize and implement the best solutions. It will be a call for entry for proposals to individuals and universities from all around the world.
LEITAT Technological Center, partner in the Mermaids Project, will be responsible for the scientific leadership of the challenge ensuring the quality of both the process and the technical solutions provided to be able to finally implement them in 2018. Other scientists in the field of the microfiber issue will also be advisors for the assessment of the applications.
At the end of 2018, Plastic Soup Foundation has the goal of taking advantage of the exposure and the scope of this campaign to tackle and to solve again another source of plastic pollution.