The reason why doing your laundry contributes to pollution is that tiny plastic particles escape synthetic fabrics such as nylon and fleece when they are washed and then spread to water treatment plants and lakes. Although, the issue incredibly obvious, most of us assumed that our washing machine filters were adequate enough to stop this from happening.
1908 marked the introduction of the Thor. No not the Marvel superhero, but the first commercial electric washer. Today, the majority of people have a washing machine in their home or a washing machine service in their neighbourhood, which means everyone contributes to this type of pollution. I know that I do 1 to 2 loads of laundry almost every day.
The presence of microfibers in lakes is well documented by scientists. So this isn’t an alarmist article, but stated facts. It’s already a problem, one that needs a solution sooner than later. Knowing about the issue is half the battle, but doing something to solve it is a must.
What is the solution to laundry pollution?
In Quebec, researchers are installing about 100 special filters on washing machines in the town Parry Sound, to see if they reduce the amount of plastic particles that end up in the city’s wastewater treatment plant. It’s a small town so the result should be easy to detect.
These scientists are working on making sure that laundry no longer contributes to pollution. I don’t know about you, but just knowing that people are working on finding a solution to this issue makes me feel better about the situation.
The impact of microfiber consumption on human health is poorly known unfortunately. Researches are underway to assess exactly how small particles affect us. I’m guessing our systems weren’t meant to digest linen.