Catch the Plastic Campaign

This is a Cora Ball. It catches some of the mircorplastic fibers during your wash cycle.

HRWC’s Catch the Plastic campaign will raise local awareness of regional microplastics pollution and encourage a strategic approach to addressing it locally by focusing on reducing pollution from synthetic microfibers because they are the largest source of microplastics pollution in the Huron River.


  • Raise public awareness of microplastic pollution: what it is, what kinds are in the Huron River and Great Lakes, and what they can do to help reduce microplastic pollution
  • Increase the number of households using laundry devices that capture microfibers such as filters, Cora Balls, or Guppy Bags

Campaign Strategies

  • Disseminate 400 Cora Balls to local residents in the watershed
    • Sell Cora Balls at the Ann Arbor Summer Fest and participated in a round table discussion (summer 2018)
    • Gave away 300 cora balls to “ambassadors” to keep and give to their friends and family in the watershed (Sept-Dec 2018)
  • Digital media campaign
    • We have produced three educational one-minute videos to air on Facebook, Instagram, and You Tube. Our goal is to reach 65,000 individuals who live in the Huron River watershed, about 10% of the population.

Microplastics in the Great Lakes and the Huron River

Microplastics are the miniscule plastic fragments (smaller than 0.04 inch) that slough off of articles of clothing when they are being washed, fall off of decomposing plastic bottles and bags, and are intentionally manufactured into some toothpastes and lotions. Scientists have found microplastics nearly everywhere, including lakes, rivers, and aquatic animals. Fibers, which contribute the most to our local microplastics pollution, are washed into our streams and rivers after synthetic clothes and textiles, such as fleece and athletic gear, are laundered. The fibers are so tiny they are not filtered out during the water treatment process. To learn more about this issue, check out our videos below and our Microplastic Pollution page here.

Juggling Cora Balls at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival

HRWC’s Ric Lawson juggles Cora Balls at the A2 Summer Festival to help get the word out about this issue.

Special thanks for funding this project go to: