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Plastic waste from the sea to be turned into vacuum cleaners

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June 29, 2010

What an oceanic plastic vortex looks like

What an oceanic plastic vortex looks like

Image Gallery (4 images)

By embarking on a new awareness-raising quest, Electrolux is hoping to focus the public's attention on the growing problem of global plastic waste. Looking specifically at the vast islands of accumulated plastic garbage dotted around the world's oceans, the company has announced its Vac from the sea campaign. Part of the initiative will involve the collection of rubbish from ocean hotspots, recycling and processing it and then turning it into a limited number concept vacuum cleaners.

To say that our society has become somewhat dependent on the use of plastics is a bit of an understatement. But while plastics have proven incredibly useful, there is a hazardous downside - waste. The main problem with plastic waste is the same process that makes plastic so durable also causes it to have a very slow rate of degradation and far too much of it ends up being incinerated, dumped in landfill or disposed of at sea.

Plastic is undeniably useful but its waste poses problems around the globe

Electrolux has started a public awareness campaign to tackle the latter issue and is aiming to inform people of the problems caused when plastic ends up floating in the world's ocean waters as vast islands of dangerous waste (such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch).

As well as raise the public profile of this huge problem, the company's Vac from the sea campaign is also looking to collect plastic debris from vulnerable marine habitats around the globe, recycle and process it into a useful form and then create a limited range of vacuum cleaners from it.

The plan is to head for hotspot waste zones, collect some plastic waste, process it into a...

The concept cleaners are likely to merely serve as an example of what can be achieved rather than being made commercially available. But if it helps clean up some of the plastic swells in marine hotspots around the world then we wish Electrolux well.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
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5 Comments

Well, this sounded really promising. But it turns out they are making SIX showcase vacuum cleaners out of found plastic scrap by the sea to bring it to the public's attention. They are NOT actively harvesting the islands of plastic to produce consumer items, ie actually DO something and make it possible for all of us to participate. Better luck next time, Electrolux!

Leanne Franson
29th June, 2010 @ 01:26 pm PDT

As the saying goes," Trash is treasure". Excellent utilisation of waste plastic to useful one and to prevent pollution.

Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

Anumakonda Jagadeesh
29th June, 2010 @ 06:07 pm PDT

This is a VERY good campaign.... remine the mines of resources.

Catchy phrase too.

A bit like recycling mobile phones - 1 tun (1000Kg) = 150 grams of gold, heap of silver, copper, refined silicon, and a stack of other stuff...

One of the things that the generally idiot TV stations in Austalia - and their news services do, is broad cast vacuous statements as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth... in the minimum technically adept fashion - for all the unthinking retards that soak up the crap.

Well the Channel 10 news reader went on to rabbit on for 10 seconds about some global organisation releasing some awful report about the amount of garbage in the ocean and they showed a few clips of choking turtles and fish stuck in plastic bags etc.

But typically there was a whole heap of information their cheap skate cut and paste news left out.

OK floating rubbish - plastic or otherwise, is just bad.

BUT the real issue with plastic rubbish in the ocean - is that it doesn't degrade for centuries - and we all know that.

What is not commonly known is that the plastic rubbish rubs against it's self and other things, and it breaks down, not chemically, but in size.

The size you say? Yeah - the plastic breaks down to micron sized grains, and that gets eaten by the fish and other creatures and it gets incorporated into the flesh of the fish and wild life - generally doing a heap of bad things both from the chemicals in the plastic and the plastics particles themselves; and

What happens then is when you eat your "grilled fish" cause it's healthy - is that you get to eat part incinerated plastic in the met, along with all the nasty plastic derived chemicals in the meat.....

Oooooooooooooooooo and Channel 10 with their "shit for brains" news casting service, just happened to leave the really important "full story" out of their 10 seconds of global destruction news coverage -which was squeezed in between which idiot is rating highest on the polls this hour and who is in trouble with who for poking who in the eye in the middle of a sport game.

Hmmmmmmmm

Deep fried plastic impregnated fish flesh anyone?

Mr Stiffy
29th June, 2010 @ 09:59 pm PDT

Most people will only recycle (anything) if there is a damn strong incentive. Ofcourse this just demonstrates laziness, apathy, and greed. Where I live, aluminum fetches over a dollar a lb. Not too many cans layin' around this poverty stricken podunk berg!

Here's an idea, and anyone is welcome to use it: make "interactive" garbage cans for plastic waste and set them around the beaches of the world. When someone stuffs a used plastic bag or juice bottle in the can, a voice from inside says something like: "Thanyou ! You have just contributed to a cleaner, healthier ocean for everyone!"

The process could be sustainable too! Just use all the plastic that goes into the cans...to make more!

Facebook User
3rd July, 2010 @ 02:52 pm PDT

So this then is our legacy for our children - fish with plastic embedded in their flesh. It seems to me that this Electrolux project should be shelved at once if it not founded by an absolute commitment to carry out the process industrially. No more cheap shot campaigns please - or we will just buy Dysons.

The important issue is to clean up after us. Plastic is not gold - but surely we can recover it from the sea and reprocess it into garments and other utilitarian objects before we have ruined our marine life for ever.

Elsdon Ward
25th September, 2012 @ 04:59 am PDT
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