Consortium on Microplastics Release during Household Washing Processes

The signatory parties of the Microplastic Consortium are conducting a joint study of microplastics in washing machines and measuring the release of microplastics to develop a standardised testing methodology for microplastics in washing systems.

Consortium on Microplastics Release during Household Washing Processes

Signed by

 

Collaborating with 

Who 

The Parties who signed the Microplastics Consortium Agreement are fifteen and range from washing machines manufacturers to detergent and filter manufacturers, to test institutes and test facilities. Given the importance of the role covered by the washing machines manufacturers in the testing, APPLiA was appointed as coordinator of the project as a neutral intermediary and moderator, monitoring compliance with the Parties obligations as well as antitrust rules and acting as contractor for any external suppliers.

Why 

Up until now there is neither a concept nor a standard available to measure the emergence and behaviour of microplastic particles and fibers in washing processes with washing appliances. Measurements are done today with relatively undefined fabrics and fleeces which provide only simple answers on the total outlet of particles in the drain, but not on the intake or the circumstances of the emergence of particles. Currently there are ongoing proposals, for instance at ISO level, which focus on textiles. But these methods neither describe what happens during a household wash in a household washing machine, nor establish for that purpose reliable and reproducible results. Therefore, the need to start testing and measure the behaviour of washing machines and the release of microplastics during a normal washing cycle.

What 

The Parties participating in the Microplastic Consortium are conducting a joint study of microplastics in washing machines and measuring the release of microplastics to develop a standardised testing methodology for microplastics in washing systems. Their joint efforts aim to establish basic elements towards a harmonised test method to assess washing machines and filters. Test textiles and materials will be prepared and used in a feasibility study in order to develop a standardised testing methodology. The concept will build a basis for a future standard to measure the release of microplastic particles and fibers in washing machines and washing processes. The target is a reliable, repeatable, and reproducible method.

At the end of the Project, the results will be shared with CENELEC and IEC for standardization purposes and also with the general public.

When 

An initial feasibility study should be concluded towards the end of the year (end 2021). This will provide valuable information on the next steps on the development of a standardised test method.


We are open for more participants. For more information or if interested in joining the Consortium, please contact Giulia Zilla, APPLiA Energy & Environment Policy Manager at giulia.zilla@applia-europe.eu