Two German shop owners have created a laundry bag that prevents fleece apparel from poisoning marine life, and it will soon be sold at Patagonia stores worldwide.
According to a UC Santa Barbara study commissioned by Patagonia, one fleece garment can shed as many as 250,000 microfibers per wash. The new bag, which is called the Guppy Friend, is designed to capture those fibers, and prevent them from entering wastewater streams and eventually filtering into rivers, lakes, and oceans.
Though the synthetic microfibers are minuscule in size, they don’t biodegrade and tend to bind with harmful chemical pollutants, such as pesticides or flame retardants, and are often coated with performance enhancing compounds themselves. These toxic fibers are then consumed by small-scale marine life like plankton, and travel up the food chain, lodging into the intestinal tracks of larger market fish.
According to the Guardian, the Guppy Friend captures 99% of fibers, is proven to last for hundreds of laundry cycles, and will be sold to consumers at wholesale cost, which Patagonia estimates to be between $20-30 USD.
You can read more about the Guppy Friend at The Guardian.