Trapping microfibres in your washing machine

lauren smith water institute polygoneLauren Smith, MES ’17, Co-founder, PolyGone Technologies, Alumnus, Faculty of Environment, Collaborative Water Program, Velocity Science


One hundred times finer than a human hair, microfibres from synthetic textiles are an invisible menace lurking in our water systems. Accounting for 94 per cent of microplastic pollution, they slip through washing machines and treatment systems and end up in waterways, accumulating toxins and carcinogens along the way. Fish consume them, and ultimately, so do we. Lauren Smith’s startup PolyGone Technologies, with the tag line “stop eating your dirty laundry,” is quickly becoming one of the most talked about student water startups in Canada. Backed by multiple enthusiastic funding platforms, she’s developing filtration technologies to keep microfibres out of our water and food – starting with our washing machines.

She is also a strong advocate for female entrepreneurs:

polygone technologies logo“Don’t be scared to get your feet wet in tech or science of any kind,” she says. “You can’t win every pitch competition, not every meeting will go well, and you won’t get along with everybody. You have to be determined to keep going.”

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Combining academia with entrepreneurship to tackle microplastic pollution