Startup develops innovative solution to stop plastic pollution at home: 'We feel passionately about keeping the oceans free of microplastics'

An incredible startup called Cleaner Seas Group has just invented a way to keep the equivalent of 1.3 billion plastic bags in microplastics out of the ocean and won a major environmental prize for its design, the BBC reports.

Based in Bude, Cornwall, CSG has had its eye on microfibers in laundry. These are tiny fragments of threads — especially the plastic ones from polyester and other synthetics — that break off during washing.

Microfibers are one of the major types of microplastics, tiny pieces of plastic that are now found in water sources all over the world. They are linked to serious health problems like cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, Alzheimer's, and fertility issues. The ocean is home to 170 trillion pieces of plastic today, most of them microplastics.

Every load of laundry compounds the issue, washing more microfibers down the drain — but not with the Indi home microfiber filter, CSG's prize-winning invention.

The filter hooks up to ordinary washing machines and processes the water draining out of them, as the BBC described it. It captures microfibers, minimizing the number that flow out with the wastewater.

According to CSG, if every home in the U.K. had one, 1.3 billion plastic bags' worth of plastic could be kept out of the ocean. If they became widespread worldwide, the impact could be even greater.

Watch now: What's the true environmental impact of renewable energy?

The incredible innovation and far-reaching vision won CSG the Green-Tech Ocean Impact award, which the BBC said came with a prize of $50,000 AUD (about $32,000 USD).

CSG's CEO, Dave Miller, told the BBC that the company's staff feel personally connected to the ocean.

"We are surfers, kayakers, and wild swimmers, and we feel passionately about keeping the oceans free of microplastics," he said. "Recognition by an international award of this gravitas can only support our business development further."

In the absence of filtering wastewater from laundry in the meantime, you can help by choosing plastic-free clothes and other products whenever possible.

Join our free newsletter for weekly updates on the coolest innovations improving our lives and saving our planet.