There can’t be much wrong with washing your clothes, right? It may be good for you and your hygiene, but what about all the pollutant particles that are being leeched into the environment? Every time you wash your clothes, more than 700,000 microscopic pieces of plastic could be released into the environment, according to a study conducted by Plymouth University in the UK. But what can you do about it? Keep reading to discover 5 ways to avoid microplastic pollution when doing your laundry.
Choose Natural Fibres
Microplastics and fibres from our clothes enter the environment with each and every laundry load. Voting with your dollar and opting for garments made from natural materials help to prevent this from happening. When an item of bamboo clothing goes through a wash cycle and fibres enter the environment, it isn’t the main issue. This is because the fabric is natural, and does not release plastic particles. On the other hand, garments made from synthetic textiles become a real concern in the laundry. This is because these types of materials, such as polyester, are made entirely from petrochemicals. They cannot break down in the environment, and cause micro plastic pollution.
Investing in a Cora Ball is another easy solution to this large-scale problem. You place up to 3 Cora Balls in the washing machine alongside your everyday laundry, and it collects microfibres throughout the wash cycle that would otherwise get released into the environment. After several washing cycles, you will start to notice hair and lint balls forming in the Cora Ball, much like a hairbrush. Just pull them out and use the ball again until it is full. You may be wondering though, will it damage my clothes? The Cora Ball is specially designed and shaped from a soft plastic so that it doesn’t do this, just be sure to not put crocheted or lace garments in with it. And the best part is that it is made from 100% recycled plastic!
Guppy Friend Washing Bag
An alternative to a Cora Ball is a Guppy Friend Washing Bag. The laundry bag catches even the smallest microfibres and plastics that would otherwise enter the environment. You simply put all of your synthetic garments into a Guppy Friend. Once the wash cycle has finished, you dry the clothing and remove all the small fibres around the hem and corners of the bag.
Natural Laundry Detergents
A simple solution to micro plastic pollution is using natural detergents in your laundry. When you wash your clothing, it isn’t just the fibres that can enter the environment; what about the water that contains chemical powders and detergents, that your clothes were washed in? There are often micro particles in these products, which as a result pollute the earth. By using an eco brand of detergent or even soap nuts, you are doing your bit to prevent pollution.
You can help to prevent pollution by just simply line drying your clothing instead of tumble drying them. A combination of both heat and constant tumbling weaken the garment’s fibres. Thus, the fibres are more likely to break and pollute the environment. Line drying saves both energy and the planet. You can check out our post on line drying and why you should be doing it here.
Every time we wash our clothes, we are sacrificing wildlife and furthermore, the environment. By implementing a few of these solutions into your laundry rituals, you can help to not only look after your clothes and the machine, but also prevent micro plastic pollution.