Vacuums from the Sea Aim for Better Plastic Karma
In response to the plastic waste piling up in Earth's oceans, Swedish appliance giant Electrolux has unveiled five working vacuum prototypes made from clean-up efforts around the world to draw attention to the problem.
More than 60 million people have been reached in its "Vac from the Sea" campaign, according to Electrolux. Shoreline clean-up projects were organized to collect plastic from beaches, coral reefs and tidepools that was then sent to Electrolux for use in its environmentally-friendly vacuum cleaners.
Electrolux aims to improve its "plastic karma," according to Cecilia Nord, Electrolux vice president for floor care sustainability and environmental affairs. "The initiative will help get plastic waste out of the world’s oceans and into home appliances made of recycled plastic."
Currently, the company's green range of vacuums uses 70 percent recycled plastics in the manufacturing process.
“Right now, only post consumer plastic on land meets our commercial safety and quality standards," Nord said in a statement. "However, as part of our commitment to researching new materials, we should explore how the ocean plastic might be used in the future."
The Pacific Edition concept vacuum cleaner is made up of drifting plastic grain that fills the oceans, posing a danger to fish, birds and other sea animals who mistake the colored grains for food. The plastic gravel was poured into fiberglass molds and covers the entire hood and the wheels.
Locals collected plastic left on the Bohuslän beaches in western Sweden that consisted largely of brightly colored rinse aid and detergent bottles, plastic buckets, and all kinds of plastic packaging. Much of the found plastic was drenched in spill oil .
Plastic pieces were cleaned, punched into circular tokens, and applied onto a fiberglass weave and molded into the shape of the vacuum cleaner.
Surfers collected plastic debris from the beaches of Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer in France, mainly the result of thoughtless tourists.Scavenged plastics were cut into heart shaped pieces and then attached to a thin shell of industrially recycled plastic. Hot air was used to mold the plastic to the vacuum shell.
Coral Reef divers off the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand collected plastic from beaches, corals and the underwater seabed. Remnants of plastic fishing nets, ropes and bags were cut loose from the coral reef. The collected plastics were placed in a shredder and split into thin strips and then mounted to cover the top and wheels of the vacuum cleaner.
Environmentalists and schoolchildren participated in beach clean-ups in Sweden, Poland and Latvia. Their haul was mounted on a hood made of industrially recycled plastic and then heated with hot air – to follow the contour of the vacuum.
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