Wearing clothes and tossing them in the washer is a normal part of our daily lives. It’s a cycle everyone is familiar with. However, this process is polluting our oceans with tiny little microfibers that shed from our clothes.
Rather than wearing dirty clothes as a solution, The Rozalia Project has come up with the Cora Ball. This is a microfiber-catching ball that users toss into any washing machine along with their laundry. As the water churns, Cora swirls around and catches the microfiber in its stalks.
Most washing machines don’t have any filters to catch these fibers and the filters that do exist are only good at keeping keys and coins from clogging the pipes. Even with something finer, a standard filter cannot catch microscopic fibers and allow water to flow at the same time. This is why the Cora Ball is so ingenious. Its design come from coral reefs that catch algae and zooplankton floating in the water. When a load of laundry is complete, simply look at the Cora Ball and pick out any clumps of fuzz and toss them in the trash.
In the United States, clothes are 60 percent plastic on average. And even though the remainder may consist of natural materials, they are often covered in dyes, heavy metals, and chemicals. None of this is great for marine life, especially inside fish that could end up on our plates.
The Cora Ball is made entirely out of recycled plastic and is recyclable itself. Ways to upcycle or recycle the fuzz it collects are still being explored, but for now, microfibers are better left in the trash rather than the nearest body of water.
Currently, the Cora Ball is available for pre-order on Kickstarter. People can pledge $20 for one or $55 for three. Most of the Cora Ball will be black due to the recycled material, but every now and then they find a source of color. Because of this, pledgers can expect mostly black balls with clumps or stripes of color. Shipments are scheduled for July.