In my article “What are Microfibers?” I mentioned the Guppyfriend, which is a laundry bag designed to #stopmicroplastic right at the source before it can even get into the ocean.
- When washing your clothes, they can shed up to 250.000 fibers per load
- This is no big deal with natural fibers since they will biodegrade
- Synthetic fibers act as sponges for toxins and make their way through the wastewater treatment plants into the ocean
- They get eaten by plankton and make there way up the food chain onto our plate.
- The toxins are released back into the fat tissue of the animals we eat.
- The average human consumes 70.000 pieces of microplastic per year
If you’d like to learn more about how microfibers play a role in plastic pollution, read here.
This laundry bag is made of Polyamide 6.6, which is a recyclable plastic polymer. It is not losing any fibers from the bag itself, these are long-chain polymers that don’t break easily.
I know it’s ironic, right? We need a plastic bag to catch the synthetic fibers.
But the guys from STOP MICRO WASTE made it easy enough for us to send the bag back to them so they can turn it into a new one, once yours has reached the end of its lifecycle.
I have been using mine for the last 6 months, and it still looks brand-new.
How to use the Guppyfriend?
Let me tell you it is simple. Just take it out of its pretty packaging and fill it half full with your synthetic clothes.
You will be surprised at how many clothes are made from synthetic fibers like nylon, spandex, acrylic, or polyester. At least I was.
I thought my comfy socks…
However, I did come across quite a few companies that are creating nice-looking socks and give back to good causes.
You can find this article here.
Well, the good news is you can put them into your Guppyfriend, which is only CAD 38, and you can wash your synthetic clothes with peace of mind.
Add some of your natural clothes to the washing machine just to balance out the load and wash regularly.
- The Guppyfriend is actually helping your clothes stay fresh longer.
- it helps to prevent more fibers from breaking off your clothes
- 90% of the microplastic fibers are kept in the bag
- We discovered that even though it is a big bag, size 50 x 74 cm
- it quickly filled up
- you can only fill it halfway up
- may need two if your clothes are mainly synthetic
The unusual reason why you need one
YOU ARE HELPING THE ENVIRONMENT TO STAY CLEAN, AND YOU ARE NOT CONTRIBUTING TO MORE MICRO WASTE IN THE OCEAN
Still not convinced? Here are 3 more reasons why you need one.
- I purchased my Guppyfriend from tentree, which is a company that plants ten trees for each product purchased. Not only do we stop micro waste from going into our oceans, but we also plant trees. You get a tracking code and can check where your trees are growing. The 10Tree Tag
- Our synthetic clothes will last longer since they shed fewer fibers in the bag.
- It doesn’t require changing any old habits, you can just go on with life and know you are doing your part.
The bag is made from the most common nylon type: 6.6 thread.
My first question was, “Does the bag itself lose fibers?”
I called them, and this is what they answered.
The mesh is made out of monofilaments, which are more like sticks than threads, and thus does not release fibers itself. -guppyfriend
DOES THE GUPPYFRIEND FILTER OUT WATER REPELLENT AGENTS?
- Water repellent agents are water-soluble, therefore, cannot be filtered out by the bag.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU NEED TO CLEAN THE GUPPYFRIEND?
- You will notice the fibers accumulating in the corners of the bag. Usually, after a couple of washes and then you just dispose of them into the bin.
HOW MANY FIBERS BREAK LESS WHEN USING THE GUPPYFRIEND?
- As a part of a test program, the Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT has confirmed that the Guppyfriend washing bag not only reliably retains microfibers but also protects the textiles: Compared to washing without the Guppyfriend, 86% fewer fibers shed from synthetic textiles. -guppyfriend
WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THE PROFITS?
- Profits are reinvested in further activities to address the microwaste problem and to avoid single-use plastics. We already take action to reduce microwaste and hope to extend the scope of the following activities:
- Inform about microplastic pollution: What can be done to reduce microwaste above and beyond the Guppyfriend?
- Accelerate re-engineering of textiles: With our countless and on-going washing tests, we receive and share valuable information on how to improve garments to reduce microfiber shedding.
- Extend our STOP! Plastic Academy lectures on how to avoid microwaste and single-use plastics.
- Initiate local activities – so-called STOP! Stations- to actively reduce (micro)plastic pollution
- Research for innovative, pragmatic solutions to reduce microfiber-pollution. – guppyfriend
So far, I feel like I am doing my bit to end microwaste and plastic pollution. I have never been so excited about doing my laundry. I would recommend the Guppyfriend to everyone with a washing machine and just make sure that when you empty the bag from the microfibers, not to toss them down the drain. Just saying…
If you come across some other cool ways to help our oceans from drowning in plastic, shoot me an email at [email protected] or leave a comment below.