Microfibre,  On the move,  Plastic pollution,  William,  Workshop

A rare trip to Oslo – mid-pandemic

With regulations easing up over the summer, there was suddently an opening in the regulations for SINTEF and we were allowed to travel inland to meetings or workshops.

I had at this point not been on a flight since February 2020 – and given my history of flying, this is a very long time! It was eerie being on the flight though. Masks were mandatory – which was not the norm in Trondheim. The flight was quiet. Very quiet. The lounge wasnt open. The coffee shops werent even open.

The Microfibre project – funded by the Norwegian Reserach Council – wanted me to facilitate a future scenarios and policy action plan development workshop with its stakeholders, though, so I flew down to SINTEF Oslo for the day.

The meeting itself was great – and we got wonderful results (I will let you know when the article is published) – but I also got a bonus treat while there! My son William has started at the University of Oslo this fall, and he doubled as my Research Assistant during the workshop – which was a blessing. He helped me transcribe the workshop, run Excel in the background – and helped me debrief at the end of the day before my flight!

What Can You Do to minimize your contribution to Microfibre pollution?

  • Wash less.
  • Fill up your washing machine to the max: Washing a full load results in less friction between the clothes and, therefore, fewer fibres are released.
  • Use washing liquid instead of powder: The ‘scrub’ function of the powder grains result in the loosening of clothes fibres more than with liquid.
  • Avoid using detergents with a high pH and oxidizing agents.
  • Wash at a low temperature: When clothes are washed at a high temperature, some fabrics are damaged and release fibres.
  • Avoid long wash cycles: Long wash cycles cause more friction between fabrics, which increases the tearing of the fibres.
  • Spin-dry clothes at low speeds: Higher speeds increase the friction between the clothes, resulting in more fibres loosening.
  • When cleaning the dryer, throw the lint in the bin and NOT down the drain.

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