Talk about the right marketing at the right time. Electrolux is taking advantage of our collective (and justified) fixation on the ocean by launching Vac from the Sea, an initiative that will turn plastic pollution from the ocean into Electrolux vacuum cleaners.
Electrolux is recruiting trained volunteers to gather plastic, either by diving after it or scooping it up from waves, from a variety of locations in the Pacific, Indian Ocean, the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the Baltic and North Sea. Collection started in Sweden two days ago, according to Cecilia Nord, Vice President, Floor Care Environmental and Sustainability Affairs, Electrolux. Once enough plastic has been collected, Electrolux will press it together into a series of concept vacuum cleaners (see above).
"Depending on what plastic we actually find, every vacuum cleaner will look unique," Nord says. "If we're in Sweden, the kind of garbage we'll get is from Northern Europe. When we're collecting plastic in Thailand it will look completely different. The vacuum cleaners will be a bit of a mosaic."
Hans Stråberg, the President and CEO of Electrolux, explains the reasoning behind Vac from the Sea:
Our oceans are filled with plastic waste. Yet on land, there is a shortage of recycled plastic. The supply of sustainable raw material, such as recycled plastic, is crucial for making sustainable appliances, and assisting consumers in making their homes greener. I therefore hope people will join us in raising awareness about the threat plastic poses to marine habitats, and the urgent need for taking better care of the plastic that already exists.
In reality, the whole thing is probably meant to highlight Electrolux's new Green Range of vacuums. But if Electrolux demonstrates in the process that plastic pollution can be turned into useful products, that's fine with us.