Filtration: effective solution for fewer microfibers in the sea

Filtration: effective solution for fewer microfibers in the sea

04 July 2023 | 2 min. readingtime

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Award winning ESG Engagement Initiative of the Year

In June 2023, this engagement program won the 'ESG Engagement Initiative of the Year' award. In collaboration with the Marine Conservation Society, 30 financial institutions (including a.s.r.) have started an engagement process with the aim of tightening legislation for plastic microfibers and, in collaboration with the industry, ensuring that plastic-free alternatives become available.


Microfibers make a significant contribution to the global plastic crisis

Microfibers (i.e. fibers smaller than 5 mm) of synthetic textiles and plastic cloths contribute significantly to the global plastic crisis: every year, half a million tons of microfibers end up in our oceans due to washing synthetic clothing in the washing machine. In addition, plastic wipes break down extra quickly in the water and thus also contribute to microplastic in the oceans. Finally, microplastics can remain in the environment for a long time.

There are serious concerns about the potential impact of microfibers on the environment and human health. For example, there are sufficient indications that microplastics can enter our bodies through food, water and air. This engagement process advocates filtration as an effective and short-term solution to reduce the release of microplastics into the oceans. For example, filters on washing machines can already ensure that microfibers no longer end up in the sewer (and therefore not in the oceans).

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Marjolein Meulensteen

Portfoliomanager responsible investing

Marjolein has been working on a sustainable a.s.r. for many years, and has been doing so for a.s.r. vermogensbeheer since 2018.

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