Home appliance manufacturer Arçelik announced its new washing machine, which will help keep microplastics out of the ocean. The Turkish company’s new machine targets the tiny plastic fibers that are released when clothes are washed; it contains a filter that Arçelik say captures 90% of those fibers. According to the company around one million fibers are released per load of laundry; these fibers end up in water systems and from there can be ingested by fish and people. The company plans to open-source its filter technology, so other home appliance brands can use it.
Clean laundry, less guilt; that’s got to be good. Two takeaways:
Expectation spin cycle. The World Health Organization says there is not enough evidence yet to conclude that microplastics are a risk to human health, but more research is needed. Reassured? Us neither. So when you hear about a washing machine that captures 90% of the microplastics released during a wash, one thought is immediate: every washing machine needs to have this. Yep, consumers everywhere will only have to hear about this machine to have their expectations changed. ‘Why doesn’t my machine filter out plastics? Why doesn’t everyone do more to filter waste products?’ It’s yet another example of how game-changing innovations fuel new expectations that all brands must then seek to meet.
OPEN SOURCE SOLUTIONS. Arçelik have solved the problem of microplastics in washing machine water. But they are not stopping there: they’re also going to allow competitors to copy their innovation. Since we started writing about OPEN SOURCE SOLUTIONS, we’ve seen a host of brands launch powerful sustainability solutions, and then share those solutions with the world. Check out Colgate sharing their design for a recyclable toothpaste tube. Or Corona’s new open source beer cans that avoid the need for plastic packaging rings. Think about the problems you are trying to solve inside your organization. Can you massively amplify the positive impact of those solutions – and win some kudos – by open sourcing your solution?