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Researchers estimate that the average household in Canada and the US releases 533 million microfibers into wastewater systems yearly through home laundry. In the aquatic environment, those fibers can be mistaken for food and ingested by plankton, fish and marine mammals.
Aiming to combat microplastic contamination, Samsung has introduced the Less Microfiber Filter. It's an external filter that can be easily hooked up to any washing machine, whether or not it's a Samsung. Developed in partnership with Patagonia and conservationists at Ocean Wise, the filter is said to capture 98% of microplastics that would otherwise flow into the wastewater system and potentially onward into rivers and oceans.
According to Samsung's calculations, using the filter while washing four loads of 4 kg a week for a year will prevent the equivalent of eight 500 ml plastic bottles from entering sewer systems. Which equates to innumerable tiny plastic filaments.
The Less Microfiber Filter needs to be cleaned about once a month and connects to Samsung's SmartThings platform to let users know when fibers are starting to build up. The device is made using recycled plastics and is now available in South Korea, where it retails for KRW 150,000 (USD 117/EUR 108). A global rollout will follow soon.
People are more aware than ever of the environmental impact of their daily habits. But despite a desire to live sustainably, they also prioritize convenience. By developing the Less Microfiber Filter, Samsung is responding to both demands with a practical solution to a significant ecological problem.
The strategic design choice to make the filter universally compatible — not exclusive to Samsung's machines — multiplies the innovation's potential impact and broadens the brand's market reach. It's also a decision that underscores the notion that sustainability isn't just a competitive differentiator, but a shared global responsibility.
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