CLEANR, a new greentech venture, won six Best of IFA 2023 awards at IFA Berlin, the world’s largest appliance industry conference, last week. This followed the company’s launch of a new microplastic filter for washing machines. Washing machine wastewater is the single largest source of microplastic pollution globally, accounting for 35% of emissions, said the company. Although at this time the technology is aimed at domestic washers, the door is open to include industrial washers.
“Industrial laundry is in our sights," said Sean Conway, communications director at CLEANR. ”There are some 5,900 professional establishments in France using washing machines that will need to comply with legislation that requires filters by January 2025. The French government just released specifications last week. For IFA we focused on residential but because of the design we know our solution is at least 300% more efficient than the conventional sieve and crossflow filtering solutions in the market.”
CLEANR believes its technology represents a significant breakthrough in microplastics filtration. Its design was inspired and adapted from the process that enables manta-rays and basking sharks to filter their food without clogging their gills. Instead of attracting microplastic particles to the filter surface, CLEANR’s technology creates fluid patterns to form a vortex that suspends and isolates them. This concentrates the plastics into a narrow stream that empties into a biodegradable capture unit. The process is over 300% more efficient than traditional sieve and crossflow filters.
“The recognition we’ve received from reviewers at IFA is hugely encouraging,” said Max Pennington, CEO of CLEANR. “We believe microplastic pollution can be solved in our lifetimes, and these awards show the IFA community’s strong support not only for tech innovation but for protecting the environment.”
The awards were given to CLEANR by tech bloggers, editors, and reviewers from CNN, Ubergizmo, Gadgety, GEEKSPIN, One Cut Review, and Guiding Tech based on the company’s demo of its new internal and external microplastic filtering devices at the event.
Performance testing of CLEANR technology designed by washing machine manufacturers that hold nearly 45% of market share in Europe found that it outperformed competing solutions in nearly every test.
“We’re thankful for these awards,” said Terry Moore, executive chairman, CLEANR. “And it’s been a pleasure to participate in IFA to offer appliance makers our insights and learnings about microplastic filtration and how to help cost-effectively stop this form of pollution.”
The company estimates that widespread adoption of its technology in the EU and US alone would prevent the equivalent of over 280 million plastic bags a year from entering waterways.