Each year, over 240 million tones of plastic are used all around the world. An important amount of these plastics is disposed of and at the end of their lifecycle, they break down only very slowly in marine ecosystems and accumulate with toxic effects.
One of the most important issues is microfibres. Many of our clothes contain plastics like polyester, nylon, acrylic or polyamide. Every time we wash these materials, they shed millions of plastic microfibers. Threads so small that washing machines can't drain them out and they end up in our oceans.
With the aim of reducing or eliminating microfibres throughout the entire textile and washing chain using different technologies, SPB participates in the FIBERCLEAN project. It is a CIEN program belonging to the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI, 2007), a public business entity, answering to the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness.
In the FIBERCLEAN consortium participate, including SPB, another 6 national companies such as Textil Santanderina, ANTEX, Polysistec, E.G.O Appliance Controls, DAM (Water treatment plant of the Mediterranean) and Magtel Operations. The project is also endorsed and supported by 3 Research & Development Centers (Aitex, Leitat, Cetim) and by two universities (Leon University and Cordoba University).
The project will be addressed under two main routes:
1. Research and development of new threads, fabrics and products that prevent microfibres being shed.
2. Research and development of new technologies and products for reducing or eliminating microfibres during washing and depuration.
This second area is what SPB is working on.