Microplastics Consortium: Project Update - Part I

In the context of the 18 signatory parties of the Microplastic Consortium on Microplastics Release during Household Washing Processes, please find Part 1 of the latest public update on proceedings.

New members have joined the Consortium  

Four additional companies have joined the consortium which now brings the numbers of signatories to 18 members. The additional companies are bmp Europe, Elettrotecnica Rold, UFI Filter and Vestel.

Work done so far   

  • An initial test protocol was established and agreed as a basis for the feasibility study.
  • Test materials containing fibers and particles were designed and samples were produced, but not yet tested because preparation and pre-tests are ongoing (see figures 1 to 6).
  • Testing will include a variation of household washing machines and a selection of washing programme parameters (e.g. mechanics, water level, temperature).
  • One basic element of the feasibility study is a standardized liquid detergent; different base loads are under investigation.
  • First pre-tests were conducted to set up an appropriate measurement equipment (filter cascades with 3 different mesh sizes) to collect and filter the effluent from washing machines; use of interim tanks where to collect the water to filter is under consideration (see figure 7 and 8).
  • Pre-tests are ongoing to solve issues of insoluble chemical and physical particles causing blockage of filters while running the tests (see figure 9).
  • Several types of textiles (standard cotton, poly-cotton, polyester and acetate) were used in pre-tests so far.

*Find photos of figures 1-9 referenced above in the full paper in PDF format below. 

Timeline

Due to intensive pre-tests the feasibility study will take longer than originally planned, but it will deliver more results to support the development of a standardized testing methodology.

 

 

Download the full paper.