Rotherham-based group Xeros Technology have published a whitepaper calling on the UK Government to mandate microplastic filters in new washing machines.

Xeros Technology focuses on reducing waste in the textiles industry, and believes simply washing our clothes has devastating effects on the environment.

With over 17 trillion microplastics now in the ocean, evidence is now proving the presence of these microfibres in our food, lungs and brains.

500,000 tonnes of microplastics enter our oceans from washing clothes every year, Xeros say.

Shannon Brown, Social Media Manager at Xeros Technology said: “They [researchers] are starting to link things like Alzheimer’s to a higher exposure to microfibres and microplastics, which is terrifying obviously.

“So many of our clothes we just chuck in the wash and we don’t overly think about it, but all these synthetic microfibers and natural microfibers end up in the environment.”

The whitepaper, written in conjunction with scientists and other solution-providers, is due to be presented in the House of Lords on Tuesday.

It proposes a legislation to mandate washing machine filters to be implemented as soon as possible ‘to have the biggest and most immediate impact on microplastic pollution’.

Xeros also wrote a similar whitepaper for the European Union in 2023, which has resulted in the EU commission bringing in new regulations in the sustainability sector.

The technology group also believes that textile industry leaders should improve their level of support for innovators who are helping save our planet.

Shannon said: “Brands who hold quite a lot of the power also have a lot of responsibility to adopt these innovations and pave the way.”

She also stated that there are many things the public can do to create positive change, including writing to your local MP to call for action against textile microfibres and using word-of-mouth to bring light to innovators.

In 2023, the group unveiled the XF3, a freestanding microfibre filter with a capture rate of 99%.

The XF3. Image courtesy of Xeros Technology

The XF3 is expected to release in the second half of 2024.

The whitepaper can be viewed here.

More information about Xeros Technology can be found here.