We get it, saving the world from microfiber pollution can be overwhelming! There are many questions that come up in the meantime and we try to gather as many as we can in one place. 🙌
To which countries do you ship your filters?
How do I return the used cartridges back to Planetcare?
After you’ve installed your last new cartridge, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will arrange a courier to collect the used cartridges. We also pay for the return shipping.
What happens with the fibers you collect?
Fibers are caught in the filtering medium in a way that they cannot be separated. The filtering medium cannot and should not be tampered by the users but rather the whole used cartridge should be sent back to PlanetCare. In our facility we disassemble the cartridge and remove the filtering medium with the fibers. This is done in a controlled environment where we ensure that fibers do not pollute the water or environment. At the moment we store the filters until we have quantities that can be used to support recycling. The remainder of the cartridge is cleaned and a new filter cartridge is assembled to be shipped to a customer. In this way we can ensure that fibers are not accidentally or intentionally released into the environment, we reuse the majority of the cartridge and we ensure that waste is properly treated in the most environmentally acceptable way. We opted to recycle the waste and against waste-to-energy (incineration) use of the waste filter media that contains the captured microfibres. Since we have just started we do not yet have sufficient flows of material so we decided to first collect the waste until we have quantities that can sustain proper recycling. The most promising solution we have right now is to convert the waste into insulation mats such as are used in automobiles or household equipment.
Can I clean the cartridge myself?
No. You should not open or attempt to renew the cartridge in any way as this will result in the release of captured fibres. The filtering media cannot be renewed and must be professionally removed, disposed in a controlled way and replaced before a cartridge can be used again.It is very important not only that we catch the fibers before they are released into our waters but also what happens with the fibers afterwards. It is the only way we can ensure the closed loop. We reuse and recycle 100% of the used cartridge.
How does the filtration process work?
The filtration proceeds by physical capture of fibres through a material with small openings. Due to the elongated form of fibres filtering of fibres is very specific so nominal opening size does not represent a sharp cutoff. In depth (3D) filtering in several steps is used to extend filter durability and fibre retention.
Does the filter require energy for its functioning?
No. The filter is a passive device that uses the pumping action of the washing machine.
Can a clogged filter damage the washing machine?
No, the filter cannot damage the machine. The flow through the filter will become more restricted the longer it is used to the point that water flow will be too low for normal functioning (draining) of the machine. The machine will detect a blockage of the drain path and will automatically stop, reporting an error. After replacement of the used filter cartridge normal function can be resumed. The stopping of the machine is a safety feature of the machine and does not damage the machine.
Why do I need to return the used cartridge?
Returning the used cartridge will ensure that the collected fibres and the small amount of waste from the filter are properly taken care of and that the cartridge is reused, greatly reducing the quantity of waste generation and improving product sustainability.
Can the filter be inserted inside the washing machine?
No. The filter is intended exclusively for use outside the washing machine in the way explained in the supplied and on-line instructions.
Can I use the filter cartridge for more than 20 washing cycles?
We do not recommend using it for longer but in principle it can be used until it restricts the flow of water to the extent that stops normal function of the washing machine. The useful life of the filter cartridge will depend on many factors of your washing practice (type of clothes, load size, temperature, program, detergent used etc.) so 20 washing cycles is a safe estimate based on average home use.
Are there any chemicals used in the filter?
No. No chemicals are used in the construction or the functioning of the filter. Fibre retention is based solely on physical retention.
Does the filter fit any washing machine?
Yes. The PlanetCare external filter is a retrofit device that will fit any domestic type washing machine.
Are there any limitations on how should I place the filter?
Yes. The filter must be placed outside the washing machine on the drain hose. It should not be raised above the height of the drain hose exiting the washing machine. The hose length should be held to a minimum. Raising the filter and a long drain hose will both reduce the efficiency of pumping and filtering and should be avoided.
Do I need a professional help to install the filter?
No. The filter is designed so that an average person with very simple tools can install it with ease. The installation should not take more than 10 minutes.
How much space do I need for the filter?
The PlanetCare external microfibre filter is installed outside the washing machine. With an installation as shown in the how-to video (https://planetcare.org/en/products/how-to/) you will need 13 cm on the side of the washing machine and we recommend approx. 60 cm in height clearance (approx. twice the height of the housing) so that you will be able to comfortably unscrew the housing cup and exchange the filter cartridge.
What are the dimensions of the filter housing?
The filter housing without hose attachments and filter holder has the dimensions: height 325 mm, width (hose attachment direction) 122 mm and depth 130 mm. Please allow for sufficient height clearing (approx. 60 cm) so that you will be able to comfortably unscrew the housing cup and exchange the filter cartridge.
What material is the filter made of?
The filter housing is made from reinforced polypropylene (sourced from Italy). The filter cartridges are made from polypropylene and polyester (all reused or recycled; sourced from Italy, Denmark, and Slovenia).