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    This Genius Washing Bag Can Help You Seriously Cut Plastic Waste

    A zero-effort way to capture at least some of your microplastics.

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    ICYMI, the oceans and fresh water bodies of this planet are all pretty much contaminated by the teeny tiny (and often microscopic!) pieces of plastic known as microplastics.

    Disobeyart / Getty Images

    It doesn't stop there: they're almost everywhere else, including farming soil, the air we breathe, arctic ice, single-use water bottles, mountain rain, and, uh, human stool. They're often basically invisible, so that makes it even harder to get people to care. (Now, scientists don't know how microplastics effect the health of people and "living bodies" yet, BUT that doesn't mean that the problem is ignorable.)

    And while there's very little we as individuals can do about the big-picture problem (culture and commerce and society shift so slowly sometimes), you can do one small thing: reduce the microplastics that rinse out of your clothes and down the drain every time you run synthetic fabrics through the washing machine, with The Guppyfriend Washing Bag.


    It may seem like an ordinary delicates bag, but it's actually made with a very fine mesh that lets water and soap in, but won't let loose fibers out (even the tiniest ones). Synthetic fabrics = things like nylon, acrylic, polyester, spandex, rayon, and modal. Check your clothing's garment tags to find out what you have!

    (And yes, the number one way to completely cut your clothings microplastic pollution is to buy and wear only natural fabrics like cotton, linen, silk, and wool, but those can get expensive AND you have every right to love the clothes you love, no matter what fabric they're made from. Even more so now that you can get a bag that helps!)

    You can just wash your clothes as normal, but put the synthetic fabrics in the bag. After a few washes, you'll start to see the fibers accumulate in the corners, where you can scoop them out.


    The only "rules": don't wash it in hot water, don't run it through the dryer (either could mess up its mesh; your clothes can totally dry, of course), and do remove any animal hair or loose dirt from your clothes before putting them in the bag. Also, you could totally put your wool and other natural fabrics in the bag, too, because it also works like a normal delicates bag to help prevent them from shedding their natural fibers so quickly.

    And I know you're wondering: according to their website's FAQ, because the mesh is made from monofilaments instead of fabric, the bag itself doesn't lose microfibers, except on rare occasions from the zipper's strip.

    There aren't too many reviews out there for it yet, but the few that are happen to be helpful! Turns out, this bag is well-made and durable in addition to being like, a simple good deed for the planet's water system.


    Promising review: "I bought a Guppyfriend a little under a year ago and haven’t looked back. The bag itself is durable and shows no signs of wear, even at the ends of the zipper. The designers of this bag obviously aimed for quality and hit their mark. You can see the microfibers accumulate after the first half a dozen to dozen washes, which I find comforting (this is actually a solution) and discomforting (how many people have no idea washing their clothes is contributing to pollution in our oceans?).

    The only critique I have is I wish the bag was bigger so I could fit more clothes per load, and this use less energy and water. But one step at a time, yes? All in all, an affordable, easily implemented lifestyle change and solution to one of the many ways our everyday lives are slowly eroding the health of the planet. Purchase yours today and be part of the solution!" —Rachel0122

    And the bag's sizeable enough to fit a full fleece sweater or blanket and catch the fibers, no problem.

    stopmicrowaste /

    "I bought this a while back when you could only get it at the store locations. I had been waiting for this to come out because I had a fleece jacket that was releasing fibers everywhere; even just sitting in the car the seatbelt would be covered in them. Because of that I was very worried about washing it. Now at our home we only wash fleece items in these to try and catch all the fibers. It has held up well." —Erika

    Here's what the filtered wastewater looked like when they tested the Guppyfriend at the German Textile Research Institute:

    Although I will say this was pulled from the company's YouTube channel and it's not clear if it's an independent test or not!

    Ready to try one for yourself, and take one small step toward a helping out the planet from your laundry room? Get it for $29.75 from Reformation, REI, or Patagonia.

    stopmicrowaste /

    You, feeling like a super hero for taking just one small step toward helping the planet:

    Disney /

    The reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

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