[Product Review] Guppy Bag - Removing Microplastics from Washing

So I bought a Guppy Bag for my wife for a Christmas present (one of). When she opened it she wasn’t enamoured. I said it would be really good as it ensures microplastics aren’t shed from clothes into the washing water, which will eventually get into our rivers and oceans. She couldn’t see that she would use it as there’s too much to do already with both kids.

She quickly started looking at the packaging to see what it was made out of and couldn’t find anything on the outer of the packaging. I looked inside and saw that is was made out of 100% polyamide, and was made in China.

If it was made out of recycled material I thought this would be forgivable but as was another product that simply added to the vast quantity of plastic-based products, I thought this is pretty counter intuitive. You make a product out of virgin plastic (which I’ve found is recyclable) and sell it to reduce plastic out of the ocean. There is also a good chance that this polyamide may shed microplastics in its use.

You would probably have to use this for two lifetimes to make sure the overall plastic waste saved countered that in the manufacturing of this one.

I said I would send it back and buy her something new with the £25 they were charging! I’m pretty dissapointed with this. Luckily I’ve got my money back and this will go to another unsuspecting customer.

Open to anyone else who thinks I’m wrong and that on balance the choice of buying a product like this is good for the environment and would like to hear other people’s opinions. Or even if Guppy bag want to chip in and defend - more than happy to get their take.

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Hi Tom,

I thought this was such an interesting review, I went and checked the FAQs on their website to get some answers. One of the questions was “Does the Guppyfriend Washing Bag lose microfibers itself?” and they seem to have a pretty good answer to this which I pasted below.

I’d be interested to see other responses to whether it is worth purchasing this product given it’s plastic and your estimate of having to use it for two lifetimes to make up for the waste from manufacturing the Guppy Bag itself…

Their FAQs also stated that recycled materials do not work (yet) for this kind of high-tech mesh. Which is not ideal but at least they have a reason for not using recycled materials :slight_smile:

Guppy Bag answer to question

*The mesh is made out of monofilaments, which are more like sticks than threads, and thus does not release fibers itself. On rare occasions, depending on the mechanical condition of your washing machine, the binding tape around the bag may release a few fibers. *

The binding tape’s total surface is 0.05m2 and about 100 times smaller than the textiles inside. A washing bag filled with three fleece jackets has an approximate potential fiber-losing surface of 1,9m2 (inside and outside). We are working on alternatives, but we have accepted this compromise at the moment because it extends the overall lifetime of the bag. We constantly test and improve the overall quality of the bag itself and its washing and stability performance.

This is super helpful - thanks.

Shame they can’t get this made with recycled plastics though, but pleased it doesn’t release micro-plastics itself!

I’ve looked at these a few times and can’t quite get my head around them. On the basis that almost all of our clothes are natural fibres, I haven’t gone down this route, but will be interested to see what other people have to say about them!