NEWCASTLE – New research by Newcastle University in the UK has added to the general air of confusion and uncertainty around microfibre release during laundering. Researchers found it is actually the volume of water used during the wash cycle, rather than the spinning action/speed of the washing machine, which is the key factor in the release of plastic microfibres from clothes. Working with Procter & Gamble in Newcastle, the team measured the release of plastic microfibres from polyester clothing for a range of cycles and water volumes.
Counting the fibres released, they found the higher the volume of water the more fibres released, regardless of the speed and abrasive forces of the washing machine. On average, 800,000 more fibres were released in a delicate wash than a standard cycle.