A non-partisan, neutral perspective supporting diversity in the color of water

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Greywater Guppies

No, not the green leaning *yuppies* or *Guppies* from days of yore as described in this 2010 posting, but rather a new mountaineering gadget to combat plastics in the environment.

This article in the Irish Examiner - Not long before plastic pollution is impacting human health - describes a projection that "If we continue dumping our plastic waste in the sea at current levels, the ocean will contain more plastic than fish by 2050"...and..."The MacArthur Foundation estimates there are more than 5 trillion pieces of microplastic in our oceans, and we continue to dump 8 million tonnes into the sea each year — the equivalent of one rubbish truck-full per minute."

And the connection to greywater? 

"Microbeads may be hogging the headlines, but they account for a relatively small percentage of microplastic pollution, with far more — like the aforementioned microfibers — coming from the washing of synthetic clothes, a source first highlighted by Irish biologist Dr Mark Browne in 2011.

We know that around 1,400 microplastic fibres, on average, are released into your grey water if you wash something,” states Annemarie Mahon.


This is big news, and caught the attention of synthetic clothes maker - Patagonia - who sponsored this project completed by the University of California Santa Barbara Bren School Environmental Science & Management.

The Bren School study showed that a city of 100,000 people are capable of releasing up to 110 kg of microfibers each day into the environment through washing, a number equivalent to 12,000-15,000 plastic bags being dumped into our waterways.

The Bren School developed a website to report the findings, and Patagonia also developed the The Cleanest Line blog with updates on Microfiber pollution.

So, what is a synthetic fiber clad *Guppie* to do?

Enter the Guppy Friend!

Patagonia is apparently offering customers in the United States and Europe an inexpensive new hand- and machine-washing bag that acts as a microfiber filter between your synthetic clothing and the drain. The Guppy Friend apparently will be sold (at cost) in Patagonia retail stores and online throughout the United States and Europe. In Patagonia’s internal testing, its use resulted in a significant reduction in microfiber mass making its way into the wastewater stream.
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"What's your road, man? – holyboy road, madman road, rainbow road, guppy road, any road. It's an anywhere road for anybody anyhow."
~Author Jack Kerouac

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