Microplastics & Its Effects & How Tirtyl Is Playing A Role In Reducing Single-Use Plastics

Tirtyl, a popular Brisbane-based personal care & home products company, has set out to save the environment by limiting the usage of microplastics and single-use plastics. They have partnered with Plastics Bank to collect ocean-bound plastic bottles with every product they sell by contributing sales proceeds. By the end of 2022, the brand targets to collect the equivalent of over 5 million ocean-bound plastic bottles.

Microplastics, as their name suggests, are tiny plastic particles less than 5 millimetres in size. They range anywhere from about the diameter of a grain of rice to microscopic plastic beads. Yet, according to research, in the last few decades, not even in one hundred years, human usage has produced 8 billion tons of plastic, and only about ten per cent of that has been recycled.


Typically, microplastics are washed down the drain, slipping through water treatment plants to enter waterways, finally landing in the ocean beds. Marine biologists have experimented on Northern fulmars, a variety of seabirds that travels long distances in search of food and store oil from recent meals in their stomach to survive. They extracted this oil from their guts and found microplastics that were remnants of resins, flame retardants, and chemical stabilisers. Such materials are known to have alarming effects on the reproductive capacity of birds and marine life, posing a threat to the entire ecosystem and food chain.

Research findings from Yale University highlight two types of microplastics - primary and secondary. Primary microplastics are plastic microbeads often found as small spheres in personal care products like exfoliating face washes and sunscreens. On the other hand, secondary microplastics are relatively large plastic materials used in packaging or building materials that undergo wear and tear over time to become microplastics. For instance, plastic bags, food containers, packets, bottles, paints, adhesives, coatings, and even electronic products lead to microplastics. Surprisingly, even households contribute to the production of microplastics. For example, washing clothing made with synthetic fibres in washing machines aggravates the microplastics problem.

It is also essential to understand that when plastic particles disintegrate, they gain new physical and chemical properties. This increases the risk they pose with a toxic effect on the ecosystem. In addition, the larger the number of potentially affected species, the more likely the environment will be affected adversely.

Keeping in mind this bearish outlook, Tirtyl has innovated waste-free soaps, detergent sheets, cleaning products and a variety of sustainable products that will minimise the use and production of plastics in any form. Researchers in Germany have already warned that the impact of microplastics in soils, sediments and freshwater could have a disastrous long-term adverse effect on the ecosystems that exist there. Therefore, Tirtyl ensures the ocean-bound plastic collected is processed and up-cycled into new consumer goods in the private sector.

According to a recent study, almost 700,000 microscopic plastic fibres could be released into the environment during each washing machine cycle. In addition, tiny fibres of acrylic, spandex, nylon, and polyester are shed each time we wash our clothes polluting the environment. In 2021, FAO and UNEP launched the Global Assessment of Soil Pollution, which outlines the risks and impacts of soil pollution on human health, the environment, and not to forget food security.

All these problems can be avoided if nations adopt a sustainable way of life. This highlights the need to reinforce the use of eco-friendly, organic and local products that do not contribute to environmental pollution. As a company focused on bringing quality personal care and hygiene product to people’s homes, Tirtyl has constantly innovated in introducing product segments that are 100% plastic-free, vegan-friendly and cruelty-free.

The signature soap and handwash dispenser kits that suit any home style and d├ęcor ensure zero wastage every time. Products like the Tirtyl towels equivalent to 15 rolls of paper towels, further reducing the single-use footprint. These 100% plant-based towels, made from plant cellulose and cotton, do not contribute to microplastic production and help protect the environment.

Tirtyl has been actively involved in creating a sustainable way of doing business by envisaging the need to develop environment-friendly products. The Founders Lachlan and May believe that companies, policymakers and governments can do the right thing and be successful simultaneously. The company has collected 49 times the plastic produced across the entire supply chain, making it a 100% plastic-free business globally. In addition, Tirtyl are committed to continuing to donate proceeds from every sale to support social causes, with a heavy emphasis on ocean & marine-life conservation, and climate change.

Individuals interested in supporting the sustainable approach adopted by Tirtyl can visit www.tirtyl.com.au for more details.