(fashion) The company behind some of Europe's leading home appliance brands has unveiled the world's first washing machine with a built-in microplastic filter.
Arcelik, the parent company of Beko and Grundig, announced the new washing machine at IFA 2019 in Berlin and said it would be rolled out to customers in 2020.
Its microfibre filtering technology will also be made available to competitors in the industry, to encourage them to save the environment.
The landmark announcement was made by Arcelik CEO Hakan Bulgurlu during his keynote address where he said that time is running out in the fight against the climate catastrophe.
The world's first washing machine that comes with a microplastic filter is set to go on sale next year (pictured)
More than one million fibres are flushed down the drain and end up in the oceans after every single washing load.
These microfibers are then swallowed by fish and other marine animals before finding their way into our food chain.
The new technology will block 90 per cent of microfibers from entering the water sources, with the filtration box, located in the detergent drawer, filtering the water before discharge.
In his speech, Arcelik CEO Bulgurlu called for closer industry partnerships and said the company are ready to share its new cutting edge technology for the greater good.
Bulgurlu added that humanity faces a global crisis by damaging and destroying the environment at a quicker rate than it can regenerate itself.
Microplastics enter the waterways through a variety of means and finish suspended in the liquid. They can be transported long distances both in water and via the air, taking them to the furthest corners of the world
He said: 'As a company with a global footprint, with products and services in 146 countries, we made it our mission to do everything within our power to make a change as time is running out in the fight against environmental disasters, most importantly climate catastrophe.
'That's why we believe creating a value through reducing the environmental damage that we are causing as an industry is a key opportunity we should seize.'
Microplastics are plastic particles measuring less than five millimetres (0.2 inches).
They have hit the headlines over recent years, as improper disposal has resulted in tonnes of waste making its way into the ocean.
Each year, tonnes of plastic waste fails to get recycled and dealt with correctly, which can mean they end up in marine ecosystems.
Although it's unclear exactly how they end up in the water, microplastics may enter through simple everyday wear and tear of clothing and carpets.
Tumble dryers may also be a source, particularly if they have a vent to the open air.
Plastics don't break down for thousands of years and it is estimated that there are already millions of items of plastic waste in the oceans. This number is expected to rise.
Studies have also revealed 700,000 plastic fibres could be released into the atmosphere with every washing machine cycle.
Current water systems are unable to effectively filter out all microplastic contamination, due to the