The world is drowning in plastic waste. Every day, countless pieces of plastic are thrown away, from plastic bags and cotton buds to shampoo bottles, toothbrushes, old toys, and food packaging. But along with this more visible waste, there’s another, more insidious, invisible kind of plastic pollution: microplastics.
According to scientists, the ocean floor alone is home to over 14 million tonnes of microplastics. But what exactly are microplastics? And where do they come from? Simply put, microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic that are often too small to see with the naked eye, although they can measure up to 5mm. Microplastics can enter the environment in several ways, including when larger plastics break down over time into tiny pieces.
But another way that microplastics can get into the water system is through laundry, when we wash synthetic textiles. That includes your yoga pants, your running gear, your winter fleece, or anything that isn’t made of natural fibres.
This is why Samsung Electronics has teamed up with the clothing company Patagonia to work on an effective and expandable way to cut down on the amount of microplastics released by textiles in the laundry.
Samsung is taking its goal of making our oceans cleaner to heart by designing a sophisticated new washing machine that lets people safely wash their clothes while at the same time minimising the impact of microplastics. Of course, this being Samsung, this eco-conscious solution will come without compromising on the high-performance cleaning and care that our washing machines are known for.
Patagonia is well known for its commitment to using materials that have a reduced impact on the planet. The company has helped Samsung in multiple ways, including product testing and sharing their research, as well as facilitating an introduction to the NGO Ocean Wise.
This collaboration between Samsung and Patagonia is just the kind of initiative that can help to turn the tide on ocean pollution (pun definitely intended). Because the best way to get plastics out of the ocean is to make sure they don’t end up there in the first place.
Are you doing anything to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the world? Let us know in the comments!