World-first partnership tackling microfibre pollution


General News

April 11th

World-first partnership tackling microfibre pollution

Two months of plastic microfibres collected on a Cleaner Seas INDIKON filter instead of washing out of clothes and into the sea. Photo – Cleaner Seas Group

Falmouth Harbour has become the first harbour in the world to partner with the Cleaner Seas Group, installing their ground-breaking green tech filters in the marina amenity centre to prevent plastic microfibres washing from clothes into the sea.

Each of the industrial INDIKON microfibre filters attached to the harbour’s washing machines will prevent around 91 million microfibres a year from entering and polluting the water. Research by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has found that microfibres from synthetic fabrics are the largest source of primary microplastics in our oceans.

“Washing our clothes seems a harmless enough activity,” says Falmouth Harbour’s Environment Manager Vicki Spooner, “but if we all took steps to prevent the microfibres from our washing machines entering our oceans we could collectively make a vast reduction in the amount of pollution affecting ecosystems, marine life, and our food chain.

“By partnering with the Cleaner Seas Group – as the first harbour authority in the world to do so – we want to spread the word and awareness of what every household could do in a small way to become part of a solution to a major problem.”

The smaller Indi home microfibre filter was the first filter developed by the Cleaner Seas Group made using 100% recycled plastic. The filter unit takes 10 minutes to install and plugs into any washing machine to remove the millions of microfibres washing out of clothes each year, with a circular cartridge return and recycle system meaning the microfibres do not end up in landfill either.

Cleaner Seas Group Indi microfibre filter unit attached to a domestic washing machine. Photo – Cleaner Seas Group

The INDIKON filter – now installed on Falmouth Harbour’s industrial washing machines in the marina amenity centre – was launched last year as a scaled up version of the Indi home filter, adapted to take on microfibre pollution on a much greater scale.

“Research is growing and microfibres have now been found in the water we drink, the food we eat and the air we breathe,” says Dave Miller, Co-founder and CEO of Cleaner Seas Group. “We are dedicated to creating solutions to tackle this problem on a global and local scale.

“Everyone can do their bit and, in this case, it is game-changing to partner with Falmouth Harbour: as the gateway to the Atlantic Ocean it is leading the way in reducing impacts on the environment and is perfectly placed to raise the profile of the huge problem of microfibres and work with us to do something about it.”

Falmouth Harbour is a Trust Port with a purpose to safely and sustainably shape and maintain the Harbour for the benefit of all stakeholders and the wider community.

The partnership with the Cleaner Seas Group is among a number of innovative and progressive environmental harbour initiatives to lower carbon footprint, reduce pollution, increase biodiversity and involve the wider community in finding solutions for all of the above.

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