Yoni Ronn

New York (Operating nationally)

Project Overview

Moby is dedicated to combating the growing threat of microplastics to human health and the environment. Their proprietary system traps microfibers released by laundering synthetic fabrics, making them available to be upcycled and repurposed. Moby is building strategic partnerships to deploy their solutions on a national scale and stem the flow of microplastics into our environment, oceans, and food supply.

Five Questions

1What needs does Moby address and how?

Microplastics are minuscule plastic particles that are detrimental to the environment, biodiversity, human health, and frontline communities worldwide. They have been found in every urban and natural environment on Earth. Most microplastics in the oceans are released from clothes during routine laundry practices. The particles then travel the food chain and are eventually ingested by humans. On average, people ingest the equivalent weight of one credit card in plastic every week. Moby is on a mission to ensure that microplastics stay out of the environment and our bodies through holistic and circular solutions.

2Tell us about a moment that helped inspire your idea.

I was first introduced to microplastics and their terrible effects on the planet, all life forms, and frontline communities in a class during my graduate studies at Columbia University. As I continued my research, I learned how little we know about such an ever-present pollutant, and more important, how the problem could be addressed. I founded Moby as a student and since then I have been driven by a sense of responsibility and obligation to see this venture through. By challenging linear practices that drain and contaminate Earth's finite resources, Moby is raising awareness and promoting circular economy solutions that are holistic, ecological, and socially just.

3What is the biggest challenge you face right now?

Environmental problems do not occur in isolation but are intertwined and correlated. The microplastic problem that Moby addresses is not yet common knowledge. Similar to other global issues like the climate crisis or technological advancements such as AI, I hope microplastics become part of daily conversations everywhere. We need to raise awareness while informing the public as well as policymakers if we want to prevent the contamination, address the environmental injustice it causes, and empower frontline communities everywhere to take action.

4What other leaders have informed your work?

I have been influenced by circular economy leaders such as Kate Raworth, often regarded as the godmother of doughnut economics, Bill McDonough, whose work has pushed concepts like cradle-to-cradle into the mainstream, and Ellen MacArthur, whose Foundation has influenced many industries and sectors.

5Describe a participant, client, community member, or someone else who represents what your project is all about.

Frontline communities everywhere! Microplastics, like all climate and environmental stressors, disproportionately impact vulnerable communities. These are often the communities least responsible for the problem. In cities where exposed neighborhoods cannot fight the pollutant, and especially in regions dependent on natural resources like fisheries, freshwater, and produce for nutrition and livelihood, microplastics are causing harm to frontline communities everywhere. As they contaminate the water we drink and the air we breathe and as biodiversity decreases and natural ecosystems decay, environmental injustice is inherently linked with the microplastic problem.

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