MICROPLASTICS - INDUSTRY PUSHBACK
Microplastic research is a young field without the strong foundation created through decades of research. Invariably, there are many unanswered questions pertaining to health and environmental impacts.
These knowledge gaps have emboldened industry and elected officials to resist (often costly) microplastic reduction regulation (e.g. labelling clothing containing synthetics, substitution of microbeads in consumer products) stating there is not enough evidence to justify action. Major players in the apparel industry have begun to make strides in addressing microfiber shedding, yet some critics state that the issue is being unfairly blamed on the industry.
Washing machine companies have not been overly vocal on microfiber pollution mitigation. Although some companies have joined the discussion, currently there are no industry-wide commitments to reduce microfiber pollution through product design. Some washing machine models have a built-in mechanism for trapping lint but there has been minimal focus on this technology.
There have been a number of start-up companies developing consumer products to reduce microfiber emissions through either retrofitting the machine or adding in a microfiber collector during washing. Companies include PlanetCare, Guppy Friend, Cora Ball, lint-luv-r, and Filtrol.
US Microfiber Opposition