Samsung launches new washing machine filter to protect oceans from microplastics

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has launched the Less Microfiber Filter, an external washing machine filter designed to significantly reduce plastic microfiber emissions during laundry cycles.

The new Less Microfiber Filter, which is now available in Korea and the UK and will roll out to other countries later this year, prevents up to 98% of microplastics released during laundry from escaping into the ocean.

Samsung Electronics developed the filter technology working with apparel company Patagonia and global ocean conservation organization Ocean Wise.

The Less Microfiber Filter is built on Samsung Electronics’ Less Microfiber Cycle, a wash course that reduces microplastic shedding by 54% in part by leveraging the company’s proprietary Ecobubble technology. By using bubbles to help dissolve and absorb detergent, less heat and energy is required to wash clothes, resulting in reduced abrasion which in turn prevents microplastic emissions.

Designed to be long-lasting and easy to maintain, the Less Microfiber Filter is made using recycled plastics. The filter’s blades capture the microplastics with a 65–70 micrometer wide mesh, then redirect and compress these microplastics to one side, meaning the filter only needs to be cleaned roughly once a month. By connecting with Samsung’s intelligent connectivity platform SmartThings, the filter tracks how full it is, alerting users when cleaning or other troubleshooting is required via the SmartThings app.

The Less Microfiber Filter has a mountable design style that allows it to be used with standard washing machine models.


“With microplastics emissions to our oceans continuing to increase and regulations being strengthened in many countries, as well as microplastics becoming a growing health concern for people everywhere, Samsung worked with Ocean Wise and Patagonia to engineer technology to prevent the release of microplastics from our daily life,” said Moohyung Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of R&D Team of Digital Appliances Business at Samsung Electronics.

“Samsung Electronics and Patagonia’s efforts to reduce the harmful microplastics emissions being released into our oceans do not end here,” said Vincent Stanley, Director of Philosophy at Patagonia. “We look forward to bringing this collaborative, sustainable spirit to further projects with industry partners to create even more solutions that combat marine pollution.”