Each year in excess of 240 million tons of plastics are used and the majority of these end up in their “end of usable life” polluting marine habitat where they can be found on both our coast lines and in our deepest seas.
Plastic’s greatest threat consists of particles which measure less than one millimetre. These particles derive from all types of textiles (woven, knitted and non-woven fabrics, etc.) but specifically from textiles whose components originate from cut-fibre and from continuous filament cut in previous processes. They end up in our seas and oceans and, worse still, are eaten by marine life. They are referred to as microfibers and represent a massive part of marine pollution. They have gone unnoticed during decades but currently represent approximately 85% of man-made pollution found on our coasts and in our seas. These particles are our planet’s most abundant plastic pollution and are the cause of catastrophic damage to the marine world. Most of the microfibers polluting our seas originate from synthetic garments (during each wash can shed up to 19,000 fibres into our wastewater).
In order to avoid this type of pollution a number of independent studies have been conducted. These include the installation of water contaminant reduction filters in washing machines and the extraction of the microfibers for recycling. However, this problem has not as yet been addressed on a global level.
The FIBERCLEAN project has arisen from the need to obtain new solutions which will result in a reduction in the emission of microfibers in the fabric and garment production industries and maintenance value chain. The problem will be dealt with from two different angles:
The investigation and development of new yarns, fabrics and products which are finished with properties which prevent them from shedding microfibers during their life span and allow them to be revalued.
The investigation and development of new technologies aimed at the elimination or reduction of microfibers during washing and water treatments which may be compatible with conventional systems.
Textil Santanderina, S.A.
ANTEX (Angles Textil, S.A), Depuración de Aguas del Mediterráneo (DAM), Polysistec S.L., Suavizantes y Plastificantes Bituminosos, S.L, E.G.O. Appliance Controls, S.L.U, Magtel Operaciones S.L.U.
September 2017 – August 2021
Program CIEN, Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness via the Centre for Industrial Technical Development (CDTI, 2017).