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Simple laundry choices can keep clothes smelling fresh while helping to reduce microplastics.

What you can do

Swaps such as using refillable washing liquid, buying washing powder in bulk, and using natural fibres can help keep your clothes clean and fresh while reducing plastic waste.

How you can do it

A popular way to reduce microplastics at the source is by choosing natural fibres such as wool, hemp, silk and linen. By choosing natural fibres, you can prevent microplastics from entering our waterways and the environment.

With greater choices around buying detergents and powders in bulk or accessing refillable options, many people find that switching to more sustainable laundry essentials is becoming easier. Some businesses encourage the use of reusable containers or the option to return refillable sachets to the distributor.

Fresh washing blowing in the breeze is a reminder of how nature can help make household jobs better for our health and happiness. Swapping breakable plastic pegs for durable metal clothing pegs adds a stylish, sustainable solution to your line-dried washing.

Taking the next steps

Some people make their own cleaning products. A popular stain remover is bicarbonate of soda mixed with vinegar. Others swap commercial detergents for soap nuts.

If you need to replace your washing machine, a front loader is often a better choice for the environment. Full loads of washing create less friction (and therefore less fibre shedding) too. We love Eco with Em’s illustrations including this one on our Facebook page on reducing microfibres from clothes.

Could you be over washing your clothes? Some family members use the laundry as a quick room-cleaning solution. Chatting about the environmental impact may help them reconsider their choices.

Filter attachments, wash bags and microfibre collectors are other ways people help prevent microplastics from entering our waterways. 

The impact

Every step of the plastic-based fabric cycle creates plastic pollution from production to disposal. Switching to natural fibres helps prevent microplastics from entering drainage systems and ending up in waterways and even our drinking water.

Buying in bulk or accessing refillable laundry solutions is a great way to reduce single-use plastic.

Swapping the clothes dryer for stainless-steel pegs and sunshine is a more sustainable and enjoyable solution.

More ideas

What others do

Glass of lemonade, bunch of straws and a plastic juice bottle

To find plastic free ideas, take the Plastic Free July challenge

Reusable carry bag, keep cups and bamboo cutlery
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