Innovation That Matters

Coral-inspired laundry ball collects polluting microfibers


Water research team Rozalia Project developed the Cora Ball to gather the harmful microfibers that wash out of every laundry load into public waterways.

During seven years of research and development, the Rozalia Project took inspiration directly from coral in designing the Cora Ball. The Cora Ball collects up to 35 percent of the microfibers that come off clothing in each load of laundry. Such microfibers are smaller than red bloods cells and once in public waterways, are eaten by marine life. Not only that, the majority of clothing worn in the United States is made from plastics, not natural fibers.

Having just completed a Kickstarter fundraising campaign, the project raised far more than its initial goal. Doing so will allow the Cora Ball to be more widely distributed. If all goes to plan, shipments of the first laundry balls will begin in July. The balls are made in the United States of recycled and recyclable plastic. If only 10 percent of households used the balls, the equivalent of 30,000,000 plastic bottles would be saved from running into waterways. To be most effective, the team recommends using two to three balls per wash.

Saving the Earth’s precious resources, and preserving life as humans currently enjoy it, is building momentum across the world. Projects that encourage small changes and improvements that, when taken collectively, add up to much larger change, are interesting, exciting and everywhere. From producing no waste ice cream from leftovers to a new delivery service that piggybacks onto existing journeys, many ideas are being tested. What is needed now is for communities to find just the right mix of projects to combine into a completely sustainable locale. How could entrepreneurs approach the challenge?




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