You may have noticed that there’s a lot of talk about plastics at the moment. Everyone is getting in on the act – Zero Waste Scotland, Environment Minister Mr Gove, WRAP, Incpen, retailers just to start with. The list seems endless.

Then as we read all about it we come across terms such as deposit return system, single use plastics, greater recyclability, microplastics, microbeads, plastic free aisles, PRNs, circular economy, producer responsibility and even extended producer responsibility.

Most of us wear synthetic clothes of some sort. Have you ever noticed that as time passes your fleece becomes a little thinner? If you have, have you ever asked why? And if the answer is abrasion and creation of microplastic particles during the wash cycle, then where will that end up? The waste water goes from the washing machine to the foul sewer to the water treatment plant to the sea.

What to do about it? Can we contain the particles?

Yes we can – to an extent.

Enter ... the Guppyfriend.  Igot mine recently in Patagonia’s outlet shop in Dublin.

Synthetic materials are poisoning our environment. When we think about this problem, images of plastic bottles and plastic bags come to mind, but synthetic textiles are a big part of the problem, too. With each wash, countless plastic fibers from synthetic garments are making their way from washing machines into rivers and oceans. The tiny fibers are extremely small and almost invisible. Unfortunately, sewage treatment plants cannot effectively filter out these microfibers. Once in the environment, the microfibers concentrate pervasive bacteria and pollutants. They are consumed by aquatic organisms, which can result in gastrointestinal infections and blockages, reproductive problems, and starvation – problems that ultimately work their way up the food chain.

The GUPPYFRIEND Washing Bag is the first practical way to prevent microfibers from entering into rivers and oceans. Its soft surface results in fewer fiber losses and thus helps your garments last longer. Those microfibers that break during washing are captured inside the bag. GUPPYFRIEND is made of the highest-quality polyamide. The bag is designed to be fully recycled at the end of its lifecycle.
— Guppyfriend Website

   - Simon Stringer