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The Surprisingly Eco-Friendly Reason To Put Plastic In Your Washing Machine

By Brian Spaen

Installing washing machines is not always the most pleasant task. Often, they contain concrete blocks that keep them from flinging around during a rapid spin cycle, which makes them one of the heavier appliances in your home. In spite of being practical, the weight of these machines creates a burden on the environment in multiple ways, but a group of researchers at Nottingham Trent University recently discovered an interesting solution: Plastic.

Instead of using a concrete block, a chunk of hollow plastic is placed at the bottom of the washing machine. It weighs only 6.5 pounds compared to a concrete block that averages 55 pounds, significantly reducing the weight of the machine. How can something that weighs this little prevent a washing machine from shaking? Easy: It’s filled up with water after the unit is installed.

Dylan Knight, a 22-year-old undergraduate that’s part of the three-man research group, explained in the university’s report how the plastic was able to counter the fast speeds of a washing machine’s cycle. He also explained how there have been plenty of issues with using concrete in the past.