A survey conducted by Polygiene in the USA in early September shows that 3 out of 4 people say they wash their laundry significantly more often due to concerns about viruses. In the free format responses, there was a surprising number of people who wrote that they wash clothes immediately once they were worn in public. While Polygiene naturally wants to use this survey to highlight the features and benefits of its ViralOff® fabric and Stay Fresh treatments, the results of the survey are undoubtedly serious and alarming. Simple calculations indicate that washing a load every other day produces approximately the same CO2 emissions as 1/10 of an average car over the same period. Even before the Corona crisis, the average laundry machine in the U.S. washed seven loads a week, and the 20 percent increase would be roughly the equivalent of over 3.5 million additional gasoline-powered vehicles. By comparison, at the beginning of 2020, the entire U.S. fleet of electric cars was only about 1.5 million. While CO2 and the greenhouse effect are still being debated, these figures go beyond CO2. Washing laundry also consumes energy and water; it adds many chemicals to the waste water. All these factors should be taken seriously. Water shortage has already been a serious problem in many regions even before the pandemic. The pressure from chemicals and micro-plastics is great. If these effects multiply, it is even worse.

Photo: Jeremy Sallee on Unsplash