Thursday, March 30, 2017

Microfiber-catching laundry balls are coming soon!

CGEE Student Voice
Water & Watersheds
by Jenni Abere

The Rozalia Project has been working toward a solution for plastic microfiber pollution for about a year, and has now developed a prototype for the Cora Ball. This ball, made from recycled plastic, is inspired by coral. Its little arms and fronds are designed to catch small floating materials in the washing machine, such as plastic microfibers but also including hair and natural fibers.

In order to produce the Cora Ball on a large scale, the Rozalia Project needed to raise at least $10,000. Their kickstarter campaign began on Tuesday of this week, and within 3 hours they had raised the $10,000 needed. By today, they have over 1,000 supporters and nearly $45,000.

You can still send some money their way - for $20, they'll send you a Cora Ball, expected to ship in early July. With all these supporters, it may take longer to fill the orders, but the Cora Ball should also be available for purchase this summer.

I supported the campaign, and I'm excited to get my Cora Ball this summer. I still have a few questions and concerns about this product; for instance, what percentage of microfibers does it catch from a load of laundry? A video on the kickstarter page shows the ball floating at the top of a load of laundry, so presumably it's not catching any fibers from the middle or bottom of the washer.

Compared to the Guppy Friend laundry bag, another micro-fiber catching invention, I don't see how the Cora Ball would capture even a majority of microfibers from a load of laundry. However, every little bit will help! Microfibers are just a symptom of a much larger problem: our dependence on, and addiction to, plastic.

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