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Microplastics: tackling the source
GKD and CLEANR are taking joint action against microplastics from textile fibers.
Microplastics are almost everywhere. It has been detected on Mount Everest and at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. It spills onto the coasts of the poles and now pollutes 88 percent of the ocean surface. The tiny particles end up not only in the environment, but also in the human organism. According to a study published by WWF International, humans ingest an average amount of plastic the size of a credit card every week. In a recent study, microplastics were detected in the blood of eight out of ten study participants.
Little is known about the health consequences of microplastics in the human organism. According to current knowledge, researchers assume that high exposure promotes the formation of tumors, impairs the hormone system, and can lead to liver toxicity and autism spectrum disorders, among other things.
New solution for the first time in the Sustainability Village at IFA 2023
GKD has been working on microplastic filtration for years. Among other things, it has developed an all-season filter that can effectively reduce one of the main sources of microplastics, tire abrasion. The company is now taking the next effective step by filtering microplastics from washing machine wastewater. This is because more than half a million tons of microplastics enter the oceans every year in the form of washing machine wastewater.
Recent research by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows that the amount of plastic waste from clothing and other textiles will double by 2050. To prevent this prediction from occurring, U.S. venture CLEANR, with support from GKD, has developed a product that captures more than 90 percent of microplastic fibers down to 50 microns in size from washing machine water. CLEANR’s patent-pending technology can be used as an external filter or integrated into modern washing machine designs as a pre-installed solution. CLEANR and GKD will present the innovative solution at IFA 2023, the world fair for consumer electronics and household appliances in Berlin.