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UK’s APPG outlines policy recommendations on microplastics

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2021-10-05 12:37:21 – United Kingdom

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Microplastics (APPG) published a report titled ‘Microplastic Policies for the Government,' which includes a number of holistic proposals aimed at eliminating the discharge of microplastic fibers from clothes into British seas.

In its first report, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Microplastics recommends that the UK pass legislation requiring all washing machines to have microfiber collecting filters.

According to the report, textiles are thought to be the main source of synthetic fibers in our oceans, with microplastics shedding into the water system every time clothes are cleaned. Textile microfibres enter rivers via wastewater treatment plant discharges and are subsequently carried to the ocean.

According to statistics from Napper and Thompson (2016), a single 6kg household wash has the potential to discharge up to 700,000 fibers.

According to the APPG, a number of factors can influence how much microfibres are shed from clothing, including the raw materials used to make the garment, the fiber type used, the yarn used, the fabric used, the color used, the garment's finish, the consumer's clothing care practices, and the garment's age or condition.

The report makes a number of major recommendations, including installing microfibre filters in all new home and commercial washing machines by 2025 and appointing a designated "Minister for Plastics Pollution" with a clear mission for plastic pollution control and prevention.

By 2025, all new washing machines in France will be required to have a microfiber filter. Microfibres are blocked from entering the wastewater system by them in 90% of cases.

In its report, the APPG states, this would also assist build consumer awareness regarding the hazards of microplastics in the environment. However, decreasing microplastic pollution requires a multifaceted approach involving a variety of measures that, when adopted together, would significantly reduce microplastic pollution in the UK.

A few policy recommendations include emphasize the role of education and public awareness, the appointment of a designated ‘Minister of Plastics Pollution’ (MOPP), Extended Producer Responsibility for Textiles from 2023, Introduce legislation and standards which require microfibre filters to be fitted into all new domestic and commercial washing machines from 2025, Creation of UK microfibre recycling technology and creation of an Environmental Quality Standard for plastics.

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