Redirecting the campaign: Closing the loop on microfiber pollution

Ocean Clean Wash is redirecting its campaign in order to close the loop of microfiber pollution from synthetic clothes: we are tackling each step of the value chain and looking for solutions. We expect a reduction of 80% of synthetic microfiber release in the coming years.

In order to do this, we have gathered stakeholders from each stage of the product lifecycle that has shown interest in working on and promoting solutions. Together, they form the Coalition of the Willing.

We believe that we need to find solutions in the yarn manufacturing stage, fabric manufacturing stage, and even at the end of the product’s lifecycle. It is not an option to only focus on one step of the chain: the responsibility of this issue devolves upon all the stakeholders involved in lifecycle of clothing. By combining solutions in the entire cycle, microfiber pollution will gradually reduce and will eventually be totally prevented.

There are currently solutions that are looking extremely promising and will significantly reduce the amount of microfibers released. A washing machine filter is being developed by the start-up Planet Care in Slovenia and recent tests show that it can stop up to 80% of the fibers released. At the same time, the research institute Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) in Italy is working on a pectin coating that can be added to the yarn and could potentially prevent 80% of microfiber release.

As part of the campaign from the past few months, we have been testing four fashion brands to rank them in terms of microfiber release. The research institute CNR in Italy tested two sports brands and two fast fashion brands following constant variables. The results of these tests will be disclosed mid-October.

If, as a stakeholder, you are interested in being part of the Coalition of the Willing to find solutions and finally solve what probably is the biggest source of microplastic pollution in our ocean, please contact laura@plasticsoupfoundation.org. 

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