How can we reduce the release of plastic microparticles from synthetic garments?

Impact écolo Textiles: info et entretien


synthetic clothing plastic microparticles

It's increasingly well-documented: clothing, not only in its design but also in its care, has a major impact on the environment. We can refer to water, energy and cleaning products, but the impact goes beyond that.

Among the most popular textiles for clothing are a multitude of synthetic fibers such as polyester. We've already taken a critical look at textiles made from recycled plastic, and we now know with certainty that these textiles release plastic micro-particles into waterways.

major environmental impact

In fact, we release 1.5 million tonnes of plastic micro-particles into the environment every year, and 35% of this comes from clothes washing water.

plastic in the environment

Why are micro-particles so worrying?
It has often been said that the Amazon rainforest is the lungs of the earth. However, cyanobacteria found in the oceans are also responsible for capturing 10% of the earth's CO2 and 10% of total oxygen production. This microorganism is a vital link in the marine food chain and carbon cycle. The toxic constituents of plastic (dyes and flame retardants, for example) not only slow down their growth and photosynthetic activity, they also kill them.

Microplastics are assimilated by other marine species, causing injury and sometimes death. They thus enter the food chain, threatening food safety and, by extension, human health.


What strategies should you adopt?
  • Favoring natural fibers

As in all things, knowing this, we'll avoid buying clothes made from synthetic fibers and favor natural fibers such as organic cotton, linen, hemp, Lyocell and bamboo rayon. These textile fibers are petroleum-free and plastic-free.

  • Guppyfriend bag
Guppyfriend bag

This bag, made from synthetic fiber, is said to capture up to 90% of plastic microparticles from wash water. It's simply a bag with a very fine mesh that prevents micro-particles from escaping.

  • Cora ball
Cora ball

The designers of this plastic ball were inspired by the way corals filter water. According to a scientific study by the University of Toronto, this ball captures up to 26% of the plastic micro-particles released by washing. Obviously, if every family bought this ball, the difference would be significant. But Eco Loco believes we can do even better...

  • Filtrol
Filtrol's filter

Filtrol's filter can be installed directly on existing washing machines. It's a water filtration system that single-handedly captures 90% of the plastic micro-particles emitted by clothes washing. Priced at around $150, the filter will last for years and can be transferred from one washer to another.

  • Use your consumer power

Clothes washers don't have a filter that's effective enough to filter out the majority of the plastic micro-particles released by many synthetic-fiber garments. What if we, as consumers, were to call the manufacturers and express our desire for such a filter to be integrated?

No magic...

Let's face it, the problem of plastic micro-particles in the oceans is far from being solved, and synthetic fiber clothing is ubiquitous! As consumers, as in everything else, we have a role to play. The first strategy we adopt is to reduce synthetic-fiber clothing at source.

Then, at the same time, we suggest buying a filtration bag or installing a filter on our washing machine, and putting pressure on garment-washer manufacturers.

Ecologically yours,

eco loco

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