Today, 60% of all textiles are made from plastic fibres, which get washed into our waterways via our washing machines. Microfibres are plastic fibres and this plastic waste ends up in the ocean and does not break down naturally.
Only 3 in 10 people are aware of the existence of these microfibres from laundry and most don't understand the impact of it.
The impact of microplastic pollution on marine ecosystems is recognised as a major environmental issue, and it is estimated that 35% of primary microplastic emissions to the ocean result from textiles, equating to 525,000 tonnes per year globally. In the UK alone it is estimated up to 1 gram of fibres go down the drain with every single wash.
Adam Root, Founder and CEO of Matter, says: "Gulp is about creating a long-term solution for one of the biggest challenges of our time. Gulp is a sustainable, scalable piece of technology that empowers people to become part of the solution and make a real difference. It's easy to install and use, and it's designed to fit washing machines across Europe in millions of homes.
"We are building the future we want to see, a UK manufactured product, a full circular model for the material captured, spare parts available and end of life recycling. This product will be the pinnacle of sustainable design".
Gulp claim their product can be easily installed on all European washing machines, and say it's compatible with any detergent and you don't require replacement filters or other parts. The filtered microplastics caught by Gulp, a substance which is like the lint from a tumble dryer, can be sent to Matter HQ. The company is working to utilise this residual waste by recycling it for reuse, closing the loop on microplastics.
Matter launched Gulp via Kickstarter with backers receiving their product in September 2023. Early supporters will receive a discounted price. More information on the product can be found here: www.gulp.online and on the Kickstarter page here.