How can industry address the problem of microplastics from laundry?

Microplastic pollution is a global challenge. There are now over 171 trillion pieces of microplastic floating in our waters. The pervasive nature and negative impact of these toxic pollutants seeping into our environment – and even finding a way into our own bodies – is a serious concern.

Textiles create 35 per cent of the world’s primary microplastic pollution. Today some 60 per cent of textiles are now made from plastic fibres. Every time clothes are washed, up to 700,000 plastic fibres are released from washing machines and into waterways.

These microfibres are one of the largest sources of microplastic pollution in our oceans. Research suggests that human exposure to microplastics could lead to oxidative stress, DNA damage and inflammation, among other health problems.

Matter – Providing innovative solutions

Matter is an innovation company pioneering technology solutions for capturing, harvesting and recycling microplastics. Matter’s vision is to live in a world without micropollutants. The company is dedicated to building the necessary tools, techniques, and scalable solutions to drive this transformation.

Founded in 2018, the Bristol-headquartered company is now a leader in microfiltration with circularity and sustainability at the heart of the business.

Matter’s development and growth is focused on the creation of solutions to address the major sources of microplastic pollution in wastewater, including the entire textile lifecycle, and supporting education and legislation to drive global impact.

Launching at IFA – Gulp

Gulp is an external, retrofittable washing machine microfibre filter that catches up to 91 per cent of all microfibres from every laundry cycle, giving the user plastic-free washing with zero replacement filter costs and no additional waste.

Gulp can be easily installed and is suitable for all European washing machines. It’s compatible with any detergent and does not require replacement filters or other parts. The versatility of being able to position Gulp on top of a washing machine and low down beside a machine makes it ideal for the European market.

The filtered microfibres caught by Gulp, a substance which is like the lint from a tumble dryer, can be sent to Matter HQ. Matter is working to utilise this residual waste by recycling it for reuse, closing the loop on microplastics.

Gulp is a sustainable, scalable piece of technology that empowers people to become part of the solution and make a real difference. By targeting existing machines with an external solution and developing technology for future integration into washing machines Matter is tackling the problem from all angles.

Gulp will provide a full circular model for the material captured, spare parts and end of life recycling. Entering the market in Spring 2024 Matter is finalising launch plans and is looking for partners to maximise the opportunity. Interested parties are invited to the Matter stand (Hall 27, stand 620) where they can get hands on with Gulp and see the unique technology in action.

Working with industry to find solutions

Matter is going all out to work with industry to find solutions to the global challenge of microplastic pollution. Matter develops partnerships to integrate patented microplastic filtration technology into domestic and commercial washing machines.

Matter’s in-house team of engineers have expertise in the full product development cycle from concept to mass manufacture to enable delivery on time and to specification. The company also has significant experience in product development and successful product launches in consumer appliances for companies such as GE and Dyson.

Matter integrated solutions – In Focus

Alongside Gulp, Matter is partnering with laundry appliance manufacturers to provide customised integrated filtration solutions for washing machines and tumble dryers which are scalable for domestic and commercial machines.

Matter’s integrated solutions are tailorable in readiness for incoming legislative regulations for laundry appliances in France and new regulations as they are applied in different markets.

The filter is uniquely designed to also capture cotton and other environmentally damaging microfibres and has patented self-cleaning technology to ensure the filter always remains clear to prevent blocking. The filter technology can also be placed in various locations within a washing machine and developed to an agreed vision, specification and cost.

The company’s team of expert engineers work to ensure Matter’s technology is tailored to technical specifications, SKUs and variants ensuring a bespoke solution that fits each appliance’s unique needs.

Built to last the lifetime of the appliance, Matter’s integrated filter technology has no disposable parts or replacement filters meaning no additional costs or hassle for the end user.

Matter Inside Technology offers a wealth of benefits including:

  • Low cost per wash due to no disposable filter parts.
  • Compatible with all detergent types and wash cycles, so users don’t need to change their wash preferences.
  • Filter is robust to abusive contaminants and is proven to work with genuine soiled laundry.
  • Adaptable and compact geometry for integration in a wide range of appliance architectures.
  • Easy to empty filter with status communication for positive user experience.
  • Unique self-cleaning technology maintains water flow rate by continuously restoring operational filter pressure
  • Proven to work reliably and repeatably with a filter efficiency of up to 91 per cent (validated by the University of Glasgow).

Cradle-to-cradle – closing the loop

In line with cradle-to-cradle philosophy, Matter has adopted a circular approach with a clear focus on the capture, harvest and recycling of micropollutants.

Matter’s mission is to capture microplastics before they reach the world’s waterways, and in doing so create a circular economy from the captured material.

The company’s products are designed to enable others to reduce their footprint on an individual, commercial and industrial level. Matter’s overall global impact will be measurable in megatonnes of microplastic pollution prevented and a corresponding increase in the volume of carbon mitigation saved as a result.

Matter at IFA Berlin 2023

Matter is an official exhibitor at IFA Berlin 2023 between 1-5 September at Messe Berlin in Hall 27, stand 620. CEO Adam Root and the Matter team would be delighted to meet with industry professionals from across the world to discuss the range of exciting opportunities that lie ahead.

To find out more information or to arrange a meeting please email and a member of the Matter team will be in touch.​