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THE PROBLEM - With each machine wash load, countless plastic fibres from synthetic textiles end up in rivers and oceans. These microfibres of plastic degrade further into smaller pieces - once loose in the environment like this, there is no current way of catching them. They concentrate bacteria and pollutants and get ingested by animals all over the planet, working their way up the food chain and causing irreversible damage.
THE GUPPY SOLUTION - If you have synthetic textiles do not throw them away, instead treat them carefully and use them for as long as possible to reduce their environmental impact. Many of our clothes and home textiles contain synthetic materials such as polyester, acrylic and viscose for example. Simply putting them inside the Guppyfriend bag for the wash will lengthen their life AND also catch microplastics they leak during the wash, thereby reducing environmental damage in two ways. The bag reduces damage /breaking of their fibres by on average 79% to 86%*, and catches over 90%* of fibrous residues and lints that do get released by the fabrics.
*From tests on partly and fully synthetic textiles carried out by the Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT.
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No. Depending on what you wash it may take a couple of washes until you may find fibres in the upper corners of your bag. Older pieces are more likely to lose more fibres. The hotter your water, the more likely you’ll lose fibres. And if you only wash soft fabrics, fewer microfibres will break, etc. Whenever you see fibres, take them out, but you can certainly use the washing bag several times before removing them. Make sure that there are no dark microfibres left in the bag when you wash clothes with lighter colors.If you're not seeing microfibres or seeing hardly any, bear in mind they are extremely tiny and barely visible to the naked eye. And that is part of what the bag does: Due to its soft surface and the structure of the filament, fewer fibres actually break.
(Question submitted by groovygranma - thank you!) Collect any fibres that you can and dispose of in your normal household waste bin (not in recycling). How your general waste is then processed depends on where you live.
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