Photos via Electrolux
This summer we let you know about a really cool project from Electrolux, a company that wanted to make a series of their well-known vacuum cleaners out of plastic collected from the ocean. Well, they've done it -- and the vacuums turned out way cooler than we'd have imagined. The company just announced five unique vacuum cleaners each made from plastics collected from a different sea. Check them out, and a video on the process of collecting, processing, and manufacturing the new models.
Each of the five vacuum cleaners sports a casing made from plastics found in a different body of water, including Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, North Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and Baltic Sea. The casing is put over the fully functional core structure of the new Electrolux Ultra One Green model. They each show how plastic pollution is a universal problem, yet the details of the problem are specific to different areas. For example:
The plastic that was collected on the Bohuslän beaches in western Sweden consists largely of various rinse aid and detergent bottles, cans, plastic buckets, and all kinds of plastic packaging. The plastic has not been bleached in the same way as in the great oceans. It is still loud and strong in color. A lot of the found plastic was also drenched in spill oil.
The company partnered with organizations and volunteers to collect the plastics, making the project a big opportunity to educate people about the problem of plastics in our oceans. Electrolux recognizes how much plastic it uses for its products, and that they have a big impact. While making cases from collected plastic isn't exactly a sustainable business operation, it does help center the company's focus on reducing its plastics waste and getting consumers to recycle.
Electrolux states, "The vacuum cleaners embody the plastic paradox: oceans are full of plastic waste, yet on land there is a shortage of recycled plastic for producing sustainable vacuum cleaners. Electrolux makes Green Range vacuum cleaners from 70% recycled plastic, but wants to reach 100%."
"Our intention is to bring awareness to the situation and the need for better plastic karma. So far, over 60 million people have been reached and we are continuing the initiative following the great response", says Cecilia Nord, Vice President - Floor Care Sustainability and Environmental Affairs, Electrolux.
It's a great goal, and the problem of plastics in our ocean is no small matter -- it kills marine animals and has worked its way into the food chain. Here's a video showing more details about the Electrolux project.
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More on Ocean Plastic Pollution
An Ocean of Plastic...In Birds' Guts (Slideshow)
How Much Ocean-Bound Plastic Are You Responsible For? Leah Lamb Knows (Interview)
Crowd-Sourcing Solutions to Plastic-Filled Oceans
The Pacific Garbage Patch Explained