SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics works with Patagonia, an American clothing company that markets and sells outdoor clothing, on a feasible, effective and expandable way to capture microplastics released from textiles and laundry. The goal is to design a sophisticated new washing machine that can minimize the impact of microplastics.
Microplastic waste has become a serious environmental issue that can have devastating effects on ecosystems and human health. Scientists estimate that the ocean floor alone is now home to over 14 million tons of microplastics, which measure up to 5mm in size.
Microplastics can be released as small plastic particles, such as microbeads known as primary microplastics, or larger plastics from everyday items that break down over time into tiny pieces. To capture microplastics released from washing synthetic textiles, add-on filters for washing machines and protective laundry bags have been proposed.
Cooperation with Patagonia is the latest in a long line of steps to create long-lasting appliances that improve environmental sustainability, Samsung said in a statement on January 5.
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