The company behind some of Europe & # 39; s leading household appliance brands has unveiled & # 39; the world's first washing machine with a built-in microplastic filter.
Arcelik, the parent company of Beko and Grundig, announced the new washing machine at IFA 2019 in Berlin and said it would be rolled out to customers in 2020.
The micro fiber filter technology will also be made available to competitors in the industry, to encourage them to save the environment.
The important announcement was made by Arcelik CEO Hakan Bulgurlu during his keynote speech where he said time is running out in the fight against climate catastrophe.
& # 39; The world's first washing machine that comes with a microplastic filter will be offered for sale next year (photo)
More than a million fibers are flushed down the drain and end up in the oceans after every wash.
These microfibers are then swallowed by fish and other marine animals before they find their way into our food chain.
The new technology ensures that 90 percent of the microfibers do not end up in the water sources. The filter box is located in the detergent drawer and filters the water before it is drained.
In his speech, Bulcelurlu, CEO of Arcelik, called for closer industrial partnerships and said the company is ready to share its new advanced technology for the greater good.
Bulgurlu added that humanity is facing a global crisis by damaging and destroying the environment faster than it can regenerate itself.
He said: & # 39; As a company with a global footprint, with products and services in 146 countries, we have made it our mission to do everything in our power to make a change as time runs out in the fight against environmental disasters, especially the climate catastrophe.
& # 39; That's why we believe that creating value by reducing the environmental damage we cause, because an industry is an important opportunity that we need to seize. & # 39;
He added that consumers are willing to pay more for products that address global and environmental issues: & At Arcelik, we strive to build targeted brands and try to distinguish ourselves with products and technologies that support sustainability while we focus on the efficient use of resources, such as microfiber filtration technology.
Microplastics enter the waterways in various ways and end up in suspension in the liquid. They can be transported over long distances both by water and by air and taken to the farthest corners of the world
WHAT ARE MICROPLASTICS AND HOW DO They ENTER OUR WATERWAYS?
Microplastics are plastic particles of less than five millimeters (0.2 inches).
They have made headlines in recent years because improper disposal has resulted in tons of waste entering the ocean.
Every year, tons of plastic waste is not recycled and treated correctly, which can mean that it ends up in marine ecosystems.
Although it is unclear exactly how they end up in the water, microplastics can penetrate through simple clothing and carpets that tear daily.
Tumble dryers can also be a source, especially if they are vented in the open air.
Plastic has not been breaking down for thousands of years and it is estimated that there are already millions of plastic waste in the oceans. This number is expected to rise.
Studies have also shown that 700,000 plastic fibers can be released into the atmosphere with every wash cycle.
Current water systems are unable to effectively filter out all microplastic contamination due to the varying particle size.
The amount of plastic waste in the world's oceans will outweigh fish by 2050 unless the world takes drastic measures to further recycle, a report released in 2016 revealed.
More than 80 percent of & # 39; the world's tap water is contaminated with plastic, according to research published in September 2017.
The US has the highest infection rate of 93 percent, followed by Lebanon and India, experts from the University of Minnesota found.
France, Germany and the UK have the lowest levels, but still reach 72 percent.
In total, 83 percent of the water samples from dozens of countries around the world contain microplastics.
Scientists warn that microplastics are so small that they can penetrate organs.
Bottled water may not be a safer alternative because scientists have found contaminated samples.
It has been found that beings of all shapes and sizes have consumed the plastics, directly or indirectly.
Previous research has also shown that microplastics absorb toxic chemicals, which are subsequently released into the intestines of animals.
& # 39; This technology is one of the most important innovations coming from Arcelik and has the potential to create radical and significant changes in our world.
& # 39; We have made significant investments in R&D and we are happy to work with NGOs, universities and other stakeholders to expand this project. & # 39;
The washing machine was just one of the environmentally-friendly appliances unveiled by the company
The company has also developed a washtub made from recycled PET bottles.
A total of 25 million PET bottles (250 tonnes of plastic) were recycled in washing machine bins; saves 5.7 million kWh of energy and prevents 885 tons of CO2 emissions.
This product is already on the market.
The bio refrigerator is another business innovation and is made with Bio-Based Plastics, Bio-Based Polyurethane insulation material and Bio-Based composites made from food waste.
By increasing the endurance of materials from soy, eggshells and corn, the carbon footprint of this bioplast is 80 percent lower than that of conventional plastics used today.
Efforts are also being made to reduce marine pollution through the use of materials from recycled fishing nets.
Every year 640,000 tons of fishing nets and lines are lost, and this equipment will continue to capture marine animals for many decades to come.
By upcycling these old nets together with waste textile fibers, Arcelik creates a nylon-based composite material with mechanical strength and thermal resistance that is used in oven parts.
By the end of 2018, 65 tons of this waste material had been recovered and reused, and the aim is to further expand the initiative.
Products that contain recycled fishing nets are already on the market.
In addition, Arcelik also announced its new Solar Fridge.
It says the new product is tackling the electricity crisis that many countries around the world are still facing.
The off-grid refrigerator works on solar energy.
Powered by DC instead of AC, it has a lower carbon footprint and higher efficiency than conventional refrigerators.
Switching from alternating current to direct current can lead to lower energy costs, higher energy efficiency and less food waste.
The product will be ready for series production early next year.
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