Polygone Technologies has a plan to clean up the environment and improve the quality of drinking water.

The Waterloo-based company is developing solutions to get rid of microfibres that come off of clothes in the washer.

 “For every wash of every garment, on average about two grams of microfibres are shed,” said Nicole Balliston, the Chief Technology Officer at Polygone. “If you scale that up per year it’s literally elephants worth of microfibres being released into the water.”

The company describes microfibres as tiny plastic threads released from synthetic textiles. They say they hope to help other companies and consumers with the issue.

“We work with beverage companies to first determine how much plastic is in their products and then provide that information for consumers so they know how much plastic they might be consuming,” said Lauren Smith, the CEO and founder of Polygone. “Then we work with that company to try to get the plastics out of their products so we can eventually certify them as plastic free.

“We've seen in other species that ingest these plastics. The chemicals on them cause hormone disruption that can decrease the size of fish and can cause blockages in their gut.”

Polygone Technologies says with the province considering a ban on single use plastics, it's likely other micro-plastics will face regulation down the road.