Internal Microfibre Filter Wins Public Vote

Survey Reveals 71% of Consumers Would Choose a Built-in Microfibre Filter Over Other Options

A recent survey of 2,500 participants from the UK, Germany and France set out to determine awareness of microfibre pollution - a nearly invisible yet extensive problem - understand consumer habits and address their needs when purchasing microfibre filters.

The research, carried out in September 2021 by award-winning Trinity McQueen, presented participants with four different solutions to capture microfibre shed during a wash cycle. These options were a laundry ball, laundry bag, external filter and internal filter and the effectiveness, cost, features, benefits and drawbacks were detailed.

An internal filter was by far the most popular solution to help filter out microplastics with nearly three-quarters of people surveyed saying they would be most likely to pick this option. Only 10% opted for a laundry bag with another 10% preferring a laundry ball. The least appealing option was an external filter which only 8% chose.

Preference graph_demand onlyThe reasons people had for preferring an internal filter included simplicity of use, efficiency, cost and aesthetics.

These findings are supported by previous consumer research undertaken by Unique View which surveyed a selection of consumers from across China. XFiltraTM was viewed to be the most favourable technology on offer and simplicity of use was high on the wish list.

More than half of the consumers would like to empty the filter less than once a month; XFiltra needs emptying once every 3-4 weeks, far less than a lint filter on a tumble dryer. XFiltra also benefits from not needing filter replacements, this meets the needs of consumers and reduces the environmental footprint. 

European Market Research Quotes

Christian Cullinane, Managing Director of Consumer Brands at Xeros Technology Group explained:

This research has found that the public is becoming increasingly concerned about global environmental issues and the part fashion and clothing care has to play.

 

However, more needs to be done to raise awareness of microfibre pollution as once the problem was fully explained, it was deemed the most important to address.

 

At Xeros, we are committed to raising awareness of microfibre pollution, supporting calls for meaningful legislation and working with washing machine manufacturers to ensure that long-term solutions that capture the highest percentage of microfibres, but are also easy and cost effective for consumers to use, are part of new washing machines in the future.

Manufacturers Expected to Act

Consumers want to see broader action from washing machine manufacturers and almost half of those surveyed feel washing machine brands need to do more to reduce microplastics. A third would look for a machine that could help them do this, and a quarter would refuse to consider buying one that didn’t.

Manufacturers are showing greater willingness to adopt microfiber filtration systems, partly due to consumer demand and partly due to regulatory pressure. So far, France is the only country in the world to introduce legislation to introduce mandatory microfibre filters. The UK, USA, Sweden and the Netherlands all recognise the problem and are working on various bills but haven’t implemented any specific measures yet.

The Xeros Science team have supported the UK and French governments by providing scientific advice and guidance on solutions that exist for manufacturers to adopt.

XFiltra Rated Best Microfibre Filter For Laundry

XFiltra in Drawer v0.2

It has been independently proven by scientists that XFiltra is the leading device for reducing the number of microfibres released from washing machines.

Results from the University of Plymouth show that XFiltra performed significantly better than all other products evaluated. The tests, which were designed to capture microfibres in a mixed wash of synthetic and synthetic/cotton blend garments, show that XFiltra captured 78% of microfibres released during each wash cycle.

XFiltra technology has advanced since the University of Plymouth study and similar tests conducted by Xeros show that XFiltra captures over 90% of microfibres from purely synthetic garments and over 80% of microfibres that shed from non-synthetic materials which have been treated with dyes and other chemicals.

As most people don’t separate synthetic clothes from cotton clothes before a wash and as many clothes are made from a blend of natural and synthetic fibres, it is essential that washing machine filters effectively capture both types of microfibres. 


The Environmental Impact of Washing our Clothes

A previous blog post has detailed how washing our clothes pollutes the environment. Each year laundry causes 280,000 tons of synthetic microfibres to be released into the world’s ocean, these microfibres aren't captured by wastewater treatment plants.

To truly grasp this problem, let’s break this gigantic figure down. 280,000 tons is equivalent to nearly 105,000 Female Asian Elephants1 or more than 47 billion plastic forks2 (which will be banned in England from April 2023).

Scientists are also regularly discovering microplastics3 in remote parts of the world. Tiny bits of plastic have made their way into the deepest sea and onto the highest peaks; most recently researchers found microplastics 2,877 metres above sea level in the French Pyrenees.

References

  1. A female Asian Elephant weighs approx. 6,000lbs according to San Diego Zoo
  2. A plastic fork weighs approx. 6 grams or 0.0132277lbs according to Dillons.
  3. Washing synthetic textiles accounts for 35% of primary microplastics in the world’s oceans finds research paper, Primary Plastics in the Oceans