When synthetic clothing is washed, microplastic fibers are released. These fibers are not currently sufficiently blocked by the water treatment plants and end up in the oceans. That must be different, Laure Herweyers thought. She developed an external filter for washing machines that holds back no less than 97 percent of the microplastic fibers.
Microplastic fibers are released during the washing of synthetic clothing. These fibers of acrylic, nylon and polyester, among others, are currently almost unstoppable by the water treatment plants and end up in the oceans. Fish and shellfish mistakenly hold those microplastics for zooplankton and eat them. Because the fibers contain additives and chemicals, these harmful substances accumulate in their organs, which eventually leads to poisoning. They also end up in our bodies via the fish or seafood on our plate.
To exclude microplastics from clothing from the oceans, Laure designed "FIBIO". This external filter for washing machines collects up to 97% of the fibers released. The fibers can be easily removed with the vacuum cleaner every 10 to 15 washes. The filter is placed on top of the washing machine and filters the waste water. The effectiveness would be a lot higher than with comparable solutions. The mechanical, reusable filter lasts as long as a washing machine (+/- 10 years). Materials used are galvanized steel sheet and PVC.