A couple of months ago we told you about Patagonia teaming up with German company Guppy Friend to sell mesh laundry bags that trap all the microfiber debris that gets shed in the water when you wash your clothes. Looks like we now have another option with the Cora Ball. Instead of placing your apparel in a bag, you simply throw this ball in the wash and it does all the work.
Thanks to advancements in technology, we recently figured out that microfibers are the biggest pollution problem facing our oceans — trillions of pieces of tiny fibers flowing into the ocean every time we use our washing machines. Sources show that just one fleece jacket could shed up to 250,000 pieces per garment per wash.
So why do we care? These microscopic fibers pick up chemical pollutants and are ingested by all sorts of sea creatures. One in 3 shellfish; 1 in 4 fin fish and 67% of all species tested from fish markets in California had microfiber in them; a direct link to the human food chain (Rochman, 2015).
Most washing machines do not have filters. The ones that do are only good to keep big items from clogging your pipes. A standard filter cannot do what needs to be done: catch fibers too small for the human eye to see and allow water flow.
Turning to ocean coral for inspiration, the team at Rozalia Project created the Cora Ball. The microfiber catcher works in any washing machine – top or front loader, old or new. Just throw it in. Cora swooshes around in the laundry and just like coral, allows water to flow, while picking up those little pieces of microfiber and catching them in the stalks.
When you take it out of the washer or dryer you will see big clumps of fuzz — just pull them out and put them in the trash bin along with your dryer lint.
The Cora Ball itself is made from 100% recycled plastic, both post-consumer and from manufacturing. It is 100% recyclable and made in the USA (Vermont).
The company just completed a widely successful Kickstarter campaign and plan an official launch in July — so if you missed out, keep an eye on the Cora Ball website. The microfiber catchers will retail for around $20.