Rotherham laundry firm set to clean up with new plastic pollution filter

A South Yorkshire ‘laundry-tech’ company has invented a filter that could end plastics pollution from clothes - and transform the company.

Monday, 4th March 2019, 12:46 pm
Updated Monday, 4th March 2019, 12:48 pm
Xeros research scientist Dan Lewis with the firm's new filter to catch clothing fibres in washing machines. Picture: Chris Etchells.

Xeros, famous for its ‘almost waterless’ washing machine system, has unveiled the XFiltra which, it claims, catches 99 per cent of synthetic fibres from a domestic wash.

The device is fitted in machines and emptied into a household bin - preventing microscopic fibres entering the sea and being eaten by fish and then people.

Bosses believe the government will legislate to halt plastic laundry pollution and its new product could help the Rotherham firm clean up. Some 119m washing machines are sold globally each year.

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Christian Cullinane, managing director of Xeros’ consumer brands business, said: “This could have an enormous impact for the company. It could transform Xeros from a small British enterprise to one with an international profile.

“The XFiltra can be fitted quickly with no fundamental changes to washing machine design. We are talking with some manufacturers who ‘get it’. Consumers are concerned and want to get ahead of the issue.

“I’m very confident deals will happen this year and XFiltra could overtake the beads in value.”

Xeros’ washing system uses small nylon beads to knock dirt off clothes, using up to 90 per cent less water than conventional methods. ‘Xorbs’ can also be used to apply colour. As a result, the firm is taking the global laundry, tanning and dyeing sectors by storm. The first domestic machine using Xorbs is expected in shops in 2020.

Xeros’ business model involves developing technology and licensing it to manufacturers.

The firm, based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park, has sites in the US and China and employs 150. It has been funded through investments but having done the ‘heavy lifting’ by developing intellectual property it is now generating cash, Mr Cullinane added.

“We are in a transition period from investments for research to a revenue generating platform.”