In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers have tested the efficacy of microplastic filters used in washing machines. The University of South Wales team found that these filters can be very effective in reducing microplastic fibres being released into the ocean but not all of them actually work. Their findings show that majority of fibres were removed but up to a third were still getting through. The team says that an estimated 50 billion garments are washed in machines every year around the world and clothes release up to 1,900 fibres during each wash. If these microplastics enter the ocean, they can enter the marine food chain and alter the cellular structure of organisms.