Microplastics Consortium: Project Update - Part I

In the context of the 21 signatory parties of the Microplastic Consortium on Microplastics Release during Household Washing Processes, please find Part 1 of the latest public update on proceedings.

 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. 


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.