A UK microplastic technology and innovation company has previewed its product for washing machines for the first time in the US.

Bristol-based Matter creates solutions for capturing, harvesting and recycling microplastics. The company made its US debut on Tuesday (January 9) at CES 2024 in Las Vegas, one of the world's largest technology conferences.

Matter said its technology could help slash microplastic pollution released by domestic laundry appliances into waterways across North America.

Like this story? Why not sign up to get the latest South West business news straight to your inbox.

The company has found there are now more than 171 trillion pieces of microplastic floating in our waters. Textiles create 35% of the world’s primary microplastic pollution. Today some 60% of textiles are now made from plastic fibres.

Matter is working across the laundry sector to integrate its patented microplastic filtration technology into domestic and commercial washing machines. Matter’s Gulp product is a retrofittable washing machine microfibre filter which can be installed alongside all US washing machines.

Gulp will launch in Europe in 2024, with a North American model planned to follow. In addition, the company is working alongside industry to install microplastic filtration technology inside domestic and commercial washing machines and dryers.

In 2023 Matter announced it had raised £7.85m ($10m) in Series A investment. The round was led by S2G Ventures, the direct investment team for Builders Vision, and SOUNDwaves, the sustainability-focused investment vehicle backed by Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary.

Additional investment came from Leonardo DiCaprio backed Consumer ClimateTech fund Regeneration.VC, and Katapult Ocean, which has made a significant follow-on investment, along with a small number of strategic investors.

Matter founder and chief executive Adam Root said: “Our mission is to capture microplastics before they reach the world’s waterways, and in doing so create a circular economy from the captured material. We have a sustainable, scalable piece of technology that empowers people to become part of the solution and make a real difference.

“At CES Las Vegas we look forward to meeting with industry to work together to tackle the profound problem of microplastic pollution from laundry.”