In the future you will be able to buy a machine that will already be equipped with a fibre filter. It will be seamlessly integrated into the washing machine and will automatically stop the microplastic fiber pollution.
Today this is a dream.
With PlanetCare this dream will soon become a reality!
In 2020 PlanetCare received a highly competitive European Innovation Council Accelerator grant to start the Fibrestop project: a two-year project during which we will fully develop a microfibre filter that will be built into a washing machine. Integrating the filter into the machine opens many possibilities that are not possible with an external filter:
- A single filter will last for months
- More than 95 % of fibers will be caught
- The machine will follow & report on the filter functioning
- … and PlanetCare will make sure that fibers will be recycled!
During the project we will establish direct links with washing machine producers to adapt the filter to different machines. The end of the project will be immediately followed by commercialization of new machines with an integrated, efficient filter, and your household will no longer send fibers into the environment.
We will keep you posted about the progress!
Fibrestop objectives address some of the most pressing challenges of our society. They are in the context of the most ambitious goals defined by the European Union and the global community.
The reduction of pollution and the circular model employed by PlanetCare address European Green Deal pillars "Zero pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment" and "Preserving and restoring ecosystems and biodiversity" as well as the goals of the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy.
Our approach contributes to solving several global challenges expressed in the UN Sustainable development goals. The most direct is the contribution Goal 14 - Life below water.
Fiberstop Value Proposition
1. Reducing microplastic pollution
PlanetCare filters greatly reduce microplastic pollution. The widespread adoption of PlanetCare filters has the possibility to almost nullify the microplastic pollution derived from washes. With the planned deployment of filters in- and on- washing machines we can reduce fibre emissions by over 500 tons of microfibre emissions in the next 5 years. Enough to fill 16 Olympic pool and weight as much as 105 elephants.
2. Unmatched efficiency and durability
PlanetCare's filters are the only tool specifically designed to capture and retain microplastics that are released in washing machine cycles. They have already a proven efficiency of 90% and will be optimized to reach >95%; and each fibre collection cartridge will last for 3 months.
3. Sustainable and circular economy
PlanetCare promotes a sustainable and circular economy. We are committed to collecting fibres captured by our filters so that they do net get accidentally or intentionally released into the environment and that they are reused and treated in the most environmentally acceptable way. The final solution will depend on the integration with individual washing machine producers and regulatory requirements that may emerge.
The Fibrestop integrated microfibre filter will bring customers the joy of knowing that they are not contributing to one of the most dangerous types of environmental pollution without adding to the everyday burdens they already have. The cleaning of emissions will happen automatically and without hassle.
5. Affordability & timely development
Washing machine producers will get a state of the art component optimized for function, performance and cost-efficiency that will open market opportunities without imposing new limitations. The new filter will become available at an optimal time – ready to address first regulatory requirements and to offer the first-mover advantage.
Concrete steps towards commercialisation
The project has both technical and strategic objectives that will result in a novel market leading product ready for commercialization.
- Design optimisation
- Functioning testing
- Production of filters for pilot testing
- In-field testing with washing machine manufacturer
- Prepare regulatory documentation
Partnership established with Copreci - The global first-tier supplier of drain pumps for a number of washing machine producers
PlanetCare and Copreci have signed an agreement to take the innovative microfibre filter developed within the Fibrestop project toward fast customer-oriented commercialization. As a well-established first-tier supplier Copreci will support commercialization and production of a product that will enable OEMs to rapidly and efficiently adapt to public demand and regulatory requirements. The cooperation opens the opportunity to develop an integrated pump-filter assembly.Full strategic alliance announcement →
Global survey of 32,000 people showing consumer preferences for microfibre filters
PlanetCare conducted a global on-line survey exploring customer preferences regarding microfibre filters integrated in future washing machines. More than 32.000 responses were received giving an overwhelming support for microfibre filters being integrated in washing machines. Respondents expressed a clear interest to purchase washing machines with microfibre filters when they become available, even accepting a modest price increase for the pollution preventing addition. Despite the clear support for measures to combat fibre pollution survey responses showed that a significant part of the population is still not aware of the issue indicating the need for continued awareness raising.See global survey results →
Fibrestop presented at the 2021 ChangeNOW Congress - The largest impact gathering in the world
Fibrestop made one of its first public appearances at the ChangeNow Congress. This year one of the world’s largest environmental gatherings was held on a virtual platform which put a new spin on the event. During the event PlanetCare presented its vision of the future with Fibrestop filters integrated in all washing machines.
UK-focused survey of 500 people showing a great need for more education on microfiber pollution
Following the publication of the first report from the UK’s all-parliamentary group on microplastics, PlanetCare conducted a UK-focused online survey exploring awareness about microplastic pollution, policy changes and solutions available. Over 500 people responded to the survey. An overwhelming majority (over 90%) were unaware that France has already passed legislation that the UK is now seeking to introduce. Similarly, over 60% the respondents did not know microfibers are released during every wash, and over 80% were unaware microfiber filters already exist. Nonetheless, respondents were interested in the issues and over 50% opted in to be kept informed about everything related to microfiber pollution. While awareness about microfiber pollution has been rising over the last years, the survey showed there is still a great need for more awareness-based activities and that there’s a demand for such information.
Fibrestop at Plastic Health Summit 2021 - The link between microplastic pollution and human health
PlanetCare attended and exhibited at Plastic Health Summit 2021. Researching and understanding the link between microplastics pollution and the effect on human health has never been more needed than now, when we know that we have microplastics in our blood. Microplastics has also been found in the placenta, animals, and plants.
The exhibition opened the door to many interesting conversations on built-in microfiber filtering technologies and the need for legislating microfiber pollution prevention.
Teaching children about microfiber pollution
Children are our future. Besides leading by example, we at PlanetCare believe that we must also teach them how to live sustainably and within the planetary boundaries. For World Oceans Day 2021 we launched a campaign that encouraged children to express what microplastic pollution means to them. We also developed an engaging colouring book and made it available to everyone.Download PlanetCare Children Colouring BookCheck Out #MicroplasticFree Drawings
Dedicated online resources hub for microfiber pollution
To continuously provide up-to-date and research-based information about microfiber pollution, we launched our own online blog Filtered. It has generated thousands of visits already in the first few months after launch, indicating a growing interest in the topic.
The big question: do washing machines capture microfibers by default? The short answer is no, but there is more to it.
Synthetic clothes hide a dirty little secret. Each time we wash them, hundreds of thousands of tiny microfibers come off. Learn where they end up and what we can do about it.
Microfibers have been found everywhere, even in the most remote places such as up in the Himalayas and deep in the Mariana trench.
Laundry has a high negative impact on environment. There are many practical ways how each one of us can lower it.
We may consume five grams of microfibers each week, akin to the weight of a credit card. Learn what health risks these plastic particles pose.
Clothing labels include all sorts of information, but can be confusing at first glance. We've decoded them into human language.
Leveraging social media platforms to spread awareness
Social media is where the conversation happens. We're there leading the narrative, educating people about microfiber pollution via digestible, easy-to-consume content and creating the basis for a long-lasting behavior change.
Strong media support
World's leading press outlets are actively supporting PlanetCare's mission.
“It's a great honour to be selected among thousands of other innovative solutions. With so many transformative businesses pursuing the vision of living in a better, healthier, environment as well as building a cohesive and inclusive society, I am very hopeful for the future. At PlanetCare we will continue to work passionately towards fully stopping the harmful microfiber pollution. This grant brings us closer to making oceans plastic-free again and we are grateful for the opportunity to support the recovery plan for Europe.”
- Mojca Zupan, PlanetCare Founder & CEO