Press Release: Keeping Plastic Out of Our Oceans

NEW ORLEANS — The Plastic Soup Foundation has been at the center of efforts to stop the plastic pollution of our oceans. Efforts to remove macro-plastic waste have begun and are highly visible.

However, millions of microplastic fibers are released into the world’s wastewater treatment systems when garments containing synthetic materials, such as polyester, nylon, or acrylic, are laundered. This plastic poses an equal danger to our oceans’ ecosystems as it enters the food chain at the micro level.

The Plastic Soup Foundation, Amsterdam, and GreenEarth Cleaning, Kansas City, have entered into a long-term agreement to test and install washing machine filters designed and manufactured by PlanetCare, Ljubljana, Slovenia, capable of removing microplastics from laundered items. These items, when laundered, release millions of plastic micro­ fibers down the drain through municipal waste water treatment systems and ultimately into our world’s oceans.

GreenEarth Affiliates wash some 25 million shirts annually in the United States, and as the largest provider of retail laundry services in the Americas, GreenEarth has been appointed Plastic Soup Foundation’s exclusive service partner in a three-way program between Plastic Soup Foundation, GreenEarth and PlanetCare designed to help keep microplastics out of our oceans. GreenEarth has performed alpha testing on PlanetCare’s initial filter designs and is scheduled to begin beta testing at selected GreenEarth locations in California this summer. A U.S. national rollout is scheduled for 2020.

Maria Westerbos, Founder & Director of the Plastic Soup Foundation, said, “We’re excited to enter into this joint effort with GreenEarth and PlanetCare as we continue to seek ways to meet our mission of having no plastic waste in our water!”

Ron Benjamin, Co-Founder and Managing Director of GreenEarth Cleaning, added, “While we have been focused on achieving maximized sustainability in dry cleaning over our 20 year history, we welcome the opportunity to turn our attention to the emission problems associated with the laundry side of our Affiliates’ business. We intend to provide operational and financial support for Plastic Soup’s overall mission.”

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