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Global Microfiber Pollution Research: People Want Washing Machines to Stop Polluting the Oceans [2021]

  • More people than ever are aware that washing synthetic clothes pollutes the oceans.
  • More people than ever also want to do something about it, our survey of 32,800 respondents, the largest microfiber pollution research to date, has shown.
  • It’s all thanks to Carol, Emily, Yvette and thousands of other Earth lovers and their efforts to raise awareness of microfibers. They pave the way towards a healthier future.

We recently talked to Carol Hurst, one of PlanetCare’s Ocean Heroes. She runs a ‘One Bag Beach Clean’ community that cleans the beautiful, but in many places polluted beaches of Cornwall in southwest England.

Carol is a huge inspiration! She believes it’s never too late to start living a more sustainable life and making a difference in the world. Plus, once you start, you’ll immediately become a part of a wonderful global community. “You’re never alone,” she told us.  

You are the change-maker

It’s exciting to experience first-hand the enthusiasm and passion for environmental causes in people like Carol. And we see it every day in the emails we receive, social media comments we devour and especially in the terrific people we meet along the way.

Many of you will take a path that’s less convenient and invest your time, energy or money to help protect the oceans, rivers, soil - our planet.

Emily Stevenson, for example, dedicated half of her young life to cleaning the English beaches of plastic pieces. Once she found out about "the invisible pollution", the microfibers, she took a journey to stop that too.

Meanwhile, Yvette, an English teacher from France, refined her sustainable laundry routine. She’ll only wash at 30C, line dry and use bio-degradable detergents. “It’s about doing better, not perfect,” she described her philosophy.

There are many more people like Emily, Yvette and Carol who give their best to bring about a healthier and cleaner Earth. We’ve always felt that our numbers are growing each day - and that’s something we now know for a fact!

Microfiber pollution research: the findings

In April 2021, we’ve carried a global survey to find out how many people are aware of microfiber pollution and what solutions they find most fitting. The response blew our minds! More than 32,000 people from around the world completed the survey, making it the largest opinion poll on the topic to date.

We’ve also been amazed by the results. A lot more people care about microfiber pollution than we've expected. We found that consumers want broader action from the washing machine producers and are willing to pay more for greener solutions. Currently, however, there are no washing machines on the market that are equipped with microfiber filters by design. We explain that more in detail in this blog post.

Mojca Zupan, PlanetCare’s co-founder and CEO, shares the public enthusiasm. “The survey showed that people want to bring about change and they find the washing machine as the most convenient place to start. We are clearly on the right track here. Together, we can create a better future. Thank you for sharing the road with us," she says.

Here are the main survey findings (you can also read our press release to find out more):

Let our kids draw the future!

Speaking of the future: our children. Besides leading by example, we must also teach them how to live sustainably and within the planetary boundaries.

That's why we are including all the Little Ocean Heroes in this year's World Oceans Day celebrations. We'd like to see your perspective on the oceans and microplastic pollution that threatens them.

How to participate? Ask your children, nieces and nephews, grandchildren or neighbours to draw what #MicroplasticFree ocean means to them. Then, email us the drawing, and we'll send them a lovely giftClick on the image below for more information.

Blazej Kupec
Blazej Kupec
Blazej writes about inspiring ideas and fascinating people who make our world a greener place. A journalist by profession, Blazej can be found in Berlin, most likely in coworking places or anywhere with Neapolitan pizza. When he is not writing, he’ll read history books or collect old maps.

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6 comments on “Global Microfiber Pollution Research: People Want Washing Machines to Stop Polluting the Oceans [2021]”

  1. Hi does anyone make a washing machine eiyh a built in filter yet please? I saw Ebac were advertising their new British made machine with filter but when I asked was it specifically for filtering microparticles I didn't get a reply. They were only interested in pushing its quietness! Very disappointing. Well done for all your work. Happy World Ocean day! Xx

    1. Hi Chris. Thank you for your comment and question. Currently, we are not aware of any washing machine, available on the market, that is equipped with effective microfiber filtering technology. But we are watching the industry very closely and believe that it just a matter of time when that happens. We'll keep you informed. And Happy World Oceans Day to you, too! 🙂

  2. Thankyou for the interesting informationn, and look forward to see any further progress. We certainly must be diligent in working toward any improvements toward a safer planet,with education and action.
    Thankyou for your work.

    1. Hi Heather. As far as we know, washing machines with built-in microfiber filters don't exist yet - at least not on the market where you could buy them. But there are other solutions for capturing microfibers before they are released into the wastewater, PlanetCare's filter, for example, is one of them. Hope that helps.

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