Microfibres & the PLASTIKINI bag
LET'S CHAT ABOUT MICROPLASTICS
Micro pollution is a big problem. One that has environmentalists on their toes because the issue is again, starting from our own households and are particularly concerning in the marine and freshwater environments.
Microfibres are fibres (plastic or natural) that shed from textiles as we wash them, and one of the biggest sources of microfibre pollution comes from our laundry. Every time we wash our garments (and any other pieces made of textile) their fibres make their way into the nature - the waterways, the oceans and subsequently the marine life (fish have been found with micro fibres inside their bodies - which ultimately end up in ours). Read more on micro fibre waste here.
Although every garment sheds fibres (some more, some less), synthetic microfibres are particularly worrying because they have the potential to poison our food chain and given 60% of clothes are man-made, something must be done about it.
The PLASTIKINI bag
Last month we launched the PLASTIKINI bag - a laundry bag that has been designed with the purpose of capturing the micro fibres that shed from clothing during washing.
How is the PLASTIKINI different from a normal washing bag?
The primary use of a laundry bag is to protect delicate textiles through the washing process - putting your clothes inside a laundry bag prevents them from getting damaged inside your washing machine. These bags have been around for a while and come in different designs, mesh and knitting. Although they do protect your clothing, the space between treads is actually too big, allowing the fibres to go through it.
The PLASTIKINI is made of a very fine nylon mesh of 43 microns which is small enough to keep fibres that shed from your garments inside whilst still allowing for the clothes to be washed.
What materials is the PLASTIKINI made of?
Aside from the zipper, Plastikini is made from 100% nylon, and is free of dye so it can be recycled into new nylon at the end of its life if ever needed.
Given the bag is made of nylon, does it shed micro fibres itself?
I am also a consumer and ask these things myself, so much of what you ask me here I have also asked and then researched.
The nylon we use is FDA certified, this means that the benefits of this product outweighs the known risks for its intended use. Does this mean it is the perfect solution? No. And no one should ever claim that.
The PLASTIKINI was created in a specific way to avoid the shedding of fibres, however, we think (though we haven’t seen that yet) that over a long period of time (with a lot of wear and tear) and under certain conditions the bag could shed micro fibres. However we, like other companies that have gone ahead creating a similar product, have weighted up the shedding that it will likely do in the future versus the amount of fibres it can prevent from getting to the ocean right now and we think the benefits fair outweighs the risk.
It isn’t the perfect answer but for now we think it is the right solution given the technology available to us. Over time we will look at research and alternatives available to us and adopt the best technology and products we can find for you.
What kind of textiles should you put your PLASTIKINI bag?
Every textile sheds fabrics, but we recommend you give preference to synthetic clothing as they are the potentially harmful ones. Because your clothing is protected by the bag, fibre breakage will naturally be reduced, allowing you to keep your clothes in pristine condition for much longer.
Will I have to remove the micro fibres after every wash?
No, you won’t. Depending on the garment you are washing it may take a few washes until you see anything inside your bag - clothing like knitted jumpers may be more apparent but if you are, for example, washing activewear, this takes much, much longer to appear in your bag.
Worry not if you don’t see anything though - microfibres are teeny tiny, and sometimes not so visible to the eyes (you would need a large quantity to see it!). The bag filters but is also there to protect your clothing, meaning fewer fibres will actually be released throughout the washing cycle.
I found micro fibres, what do I do with them?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a perfect answer here. There isn’t anyone currently dealing with “micro waste” in small quantities. From our research and understanding of how the government deals with household waste, we recommend you do not put on the recycling bin but on your normal house hold trash. Recycled waste gets opened to be sorted in different centres where the micro waste could get blown off to nature, so that is currently a better alternative.
Do I need to clean my PLASTIKINI bag?
No, you don’t. Just remove the fibres when you see them and never wash your bag by itself under running water.
Remember - claiming things are perfect the way they are is a dishonest statement to persuade people into buying products companies want to sell. Information is key - so do your own research, ask questions and support the brands doing the work to make this a better world.
Are you saving our oceans yet? Get your PLASTIKINI here: