Check Out These Microfiber Laundry Catchers
Own synthetic clothing? Then read on.
Synthetic fleece jackets release 1.7 grams of microfibers every time they’re washed. This is just the new ones. If you wash an old synthetic fleece jacket, then it’s releasing almost twice as many fibers in your wash, according to a study funded by outdoor clothing manufacturer Patagonia. This also goes for workout wear, reusable cloths, and anything made from almost all synthetic fabrics.
Yup. Acrylic, nylon, and polyester fabrics are all terrible for the environment, especially for aquatic life.
Professor Sherri Mason cut open a Great Lakes fish when she was studying pollution around the Great Lakes. She was horrified to find synthetic fibers everywhere and, under a microscope, she said they seemed to be “weaving themselves into the gastrointestinal tract.”
Microfibers go from your washing machine to your local wastewater treatment plant where up to 40 per cent of them enter rivers, lakes, and oceans. They are readily consumed by fish and other wildlife where they poison the food change. The plastic fibers have been found to cause physical and chemical problems that result in starvation and reproductive issues in many species. While the effects of humans consuming microplastics is not yet known, you can bet they aren’t doing any good.
This is why Sealuxe was thrilled to discover that affordable technologies exist to help prevent this from happening.
First up is the Lint LUV-R which is a filter installed outside your laundry machine that catches microfibers, reportedly up to 87%. Washing machines create a lot of lint from its fierce agitation. Not only does microfiber lint cause problems for marine animals but it can cause terrible problems for septic systems and sewage drains as it does not break down and builds up. The Canadian-made Lint LUV-R has been around for more than a decade and can be ordered here.
The Cora Ball requires no installation. The ball of fabric is simply tossed in with your wash and studies show that it captures 26% of microfibers. The Cora Ball can be ordered here. It is also available in some stores.
University of Toronto’s Chelsea Rochman said both products offer simple solutions that help reduce the number of microfibers that enter our environment.
“We find these tiny fibers in samples from headwater streams, rivers, soils, lakes, sediments, ocean water, the deep-sea, wildlife, arctic sea lice, seafood, drinking water, and table salt,” she said.
According to this Forbes article, researchers estimate that a city like Toronto’s size is emitting up to 36 trillion microfibers into wastewater from washing machines every year.
Our question is, what happens to the fibers the filters or balls collect?
Cora Ball answers: “The only option at the moment is to put the fibers in the trash, along with your dryer lint. It’s the same stuff. At this point, we cannot recycle laundry lint (from the washer or the dryer). But, Rozalia Project, and our partners, are working hard to figure this out. We look forward to the day when we can upcycle all of this material into new clothes or something durable and long-lasting. Until that happens, the trash is better than straight to our public waterways.”