When the Gorillaz put out their newest album, “Plastic Beach,” did you know what they were talking about with the title? Do you know what the plastic beach is? It’s an occurrence in the sea where garbage from every direction comes together to form an island of trash. The largest of these islands sit in the Pacific Ocean, the same location where this project by Electrolux, “Vac from the Sea,” aims to turn that garbage back upon itself. Yes, they’ll be transforming these floating conglomerates of plastic back into something useful – vacuum cleaners!
The folks at Electrolux aim to collect masses of plastic from these floats and turn them into recycled floor cleaners. They’ll be doing everything from diving after it to scooping it up with nets. Presently they say they’ve got their green-range vacuum cleaners up to 70 percent recycled plastic, but are aiming for the perfect 100.
The most interesting part of this project, I find, is the mindset involved in it. These Electrolux people are bypassing government cleanup efforts, doing it themselves, all the while collecting material to make a profit on later by selling vacuums. It’s brilliant capitalism.
“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 sustainable vacuum cleaners. What the world needs now is a better plastic karma”, says Cecilia Nord, Vice President, Floor Care Environmental and Sustainability Affairs, Electrolux.