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Plastic waste pollution is one of the biggest challenges facing society. So why the lack of enthusiasm by the government to curb manufacturing practices that generate tonnes of it which leech into the air, waterways, oceans and food?

Many washing machines lack simple filters that can remove microplastics. Consequently, plastic fibres in wastewater end up in water treatment plants and, eventually, reach the seas.

A petition to parliament calling for washing machine filters to be fitted as standard was ignored by the last Tory government with the blunt comment: “The government currently has no plans to require manufacturers to install microplastic filters on new washing machines.”