Microfibre cloths damaging our oceans

by | February 12, 2020

New studies have linked the use of microfibre cloths and microplastics to an alarming rise of pollution, particularly notable the decline of marine life health.

Yes, it seems like quite a stretch as microfibre cleaning cloths are meant to be an environmentally friendly cleaning option aren’t they? Wrong. While microfibre is better for the environment as the cloths themselves can be reused, the materials used in microfibre production are not biodegradable.

So how are these damaging materials ending up in our ocean? It’s not like we’re throwing these cloths into the Ocean en-masse! It’s simple really, when you wash your microfiber cloths, the grey water from your washing machine (complete with damaging fibres) enters our waterways.

“These microfibers then travel to your local wastewater treatment plant, where up to 40% of them enter rivers, lakes and oceans,” according to findings published on the researcher’s’ website.


microfiber in the ocean

microfiber in the ocean


Synthetic microfibres are then ingested by our marine life which in turn, poisons the food chain. The fibres are readily consumed by fish who are then (you guessed it) being consumed themselves by larger marine wildlife and humans.

“A study out of the University of Exeter, in which crabs were given food contaminated with microfibers, found that they altered animals’ behavior. The crabs ate less food overall, suggesting stunted growth over time”. – The Guardian


So what can we do about this epidemic before it’s too late?

There have been investigations into the effectiveness of a inventing waterless washing machine to reduce the amount of toxic grey water entering our oceans however, the industry is not ready to act at this time. Researchers have also suggested taking a stand against cheaply made clothing and cleaning materials which begin to disintegrate after the first washing cycle.

Our natural bamboo microfibre cloths are an environmentally safe alternative. Made from 100% natural bamboo and yarn, there is not a toxic fibre to be found.

bamboo microfiber

Source of the article from The Guardian UK and Resparkle – Bamboo cloth cleaning solution

Since early 2020, Clean Planet – Commercial and Domestic cleaning service in New Zealand has trialed these products to reduce our impact on the environment. Together with our own formulated cleaning products, we offer a more sustainable cleaning method and cleaning solution to offices and homes in New Zealand.