Electrolux is bringing attention to the Pacific Garbage Patch and the whole issue of plastic trash clogging up too much of our oceans. According to Electrolux, “The plan is to make a limited number of vacuum cleaners from plastic debris harvested from the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans and the Mediterranean, Baltic and North Seas. The techniques for harvesting the plastic will vary depending on the location – from diving after it to scooping it up from the waves. Cecilia Nord, Vice President of Floor Care Environmental and Sustainability Affairs at Electrolux (hope that’s not all on her name plate) has said, “We will work with volunteers and experts that live close or work with this problem.”
Their aim is to both bring attention to the huge problem of plastic garbage in our oceans, and also to let more people know just how scarce recycled plastics can be for use in making sustainable home appliances.
It’s ironic that despite the masses of virtually indestructible plastic we’ve created, getting enough recycled plastic can be difficult for companies. Nord has said, “There are plastic islands, some several times the size of the state of Texas, floating in our oceans. Yet on land, we struggle to get hold of enough recycled plastics to meet the demand for our sustainable vacuum cleaners.”
If only instead of making its way into the oceans, all that used plastic could find its way to Electrolux and any other company that’s similarly focused. In the meantime it’s always heartening to learn of other greener options already available. Reminds me of those greener electronics companies. And in the appliances arena Jonas Magnusson, Business Segment Manager within Electrolux Floor Care has said already, “Our engineers have managed to get our green range vacuum cleaners up to 70% recycled plastic, but our ultimate vision is of course 100%, and for all ranges.”
This current project sadly is not to make consumer available vacuums out of this retrieved plastic (maybe one day), but to draw attention to the problems mentioned above by making and showcasing their recycled Garbage Patch vacuums. Nice to see at least some of that plastic ocean garbage will be “Vac from the Sea” (such an apt project name).
Promo video from Electrolux