Microplastics are a huge source of pollution in our seas, with up to 1.5 million tons being released per year. This poisons the underwater ecosystem and even climbs back up in the food chain to affect human health (estimates show that we eat about 5 grams of plastic each week). Washing machines contribute to about 35% of this problem, in the form of the 700,000 pieces of synthetic microfibres found in the greywater of each wash.
Our company Mimbly has designed the Mimbox, the first ever “plug-and-play” add-on device that can connect to any type of washing machine to capture the microplastics released during each wash, acting as a single barrier to retain microplastics as small as 50 microns from reaching the waterways. At the heart of its innovation is a self-cleaning filtering technology, of which we are in a patent process. The Mimbox also cuts up to 70% of water consumption by cleaning and recycling the greywater, as well as reduces in a 30% the energy consumed in water heating, all with unaltered quality in the wash results. Additionally, it includes a data service functionality for customers to optimise their wash cycles.
Our first commercialisation of the technology is aimed at industrial washers and it is compatible with all brands, sizes and generations of washing machines. The Mimbox offers an attractive average payback period of 2.5-year during 11-year industrial washer lifetime, and it is the perfect compliance solution for upcoming regulations and customer’s environmental sustainability policy and brand.
The EIC accelerator project will setup and run 15 B2B customer pilots with the Mimbox MVP and demonstrate their results to additional stakeholders. We will establish scalable manufacturing partnership and distribution channels and achieve all the certifications for market release and scale-up. Our technology is expected to be used for over 100,000 washers by 2025, saving more than 1,200 tons of microplastics and 23 million m3 of water.
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