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Electrolux Unveils Vacuums Decorated With Ocean Debris

Electrolux Vac from the Sea vacuum cleaners

After months of preparation and sending volunteers to gather plastic from locations in the Pacific, Indian Ocean, the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the Baltic and North Sea, Electrolux has finally come up with the finished project from its Vac from the Sea initiative: vacuum cleaners filled with pieces of ocean debris.

The Vac from the Sea vacuum cleaners come in five editions—each one representing a different body of water. The Indian Ocean edition, for example, features debris collected by coral reef divers from beaches, corals, and seabeds off the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand. Much of the trash consists of styrofoam, plastic bags, household garbage, buckets, and drink bottles.

The more colorful Mediterranean edition, on the other hand, features plastic bottles, food containers, beverage cans, and beach toys found on beaches in St Cyr-sur-Mer, France. The plastics were cut into heart-shaped pieces before being inserted into the vacuum.

Don't expect to find these one-off vacuums in stores—an Electrolux press release claims that "the quality and the logistics needed for cleaning and sorting ocean plastic makes it difficult to use in mass production." The vacuums are intended to raise awareness of the amount of trash scattered throughout the ocean—and of Electrolux's new range of UltraOne Green vacuum cleaners.

Update:  According to Electrolux, "The body of the Vacs from the Sea consist of ocean plastic, hence uneven finish here and there. The surface has not been made transparent."

Ariel Schwartz can be reached on Twitter or by email.

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  • Phyllis

    I like the idea of awareness, but does it work or is it for awareness ONLY! Just asking.

  • Barbara Slough

    It looks like it is applied to the surface, like a chaotic mosaic. If you look at the still image of the video,
    under the horizontal dividing line, on the right. Look at the vertical edge. You can see it is lumpy, with
    the dark gray behind it.
    They said the units worked, but were art pieces.
    Oh! The two (before/after) facing each other... you can see the edge isn't smooth.
    It's terrible, but fascinating about the lack of red/orange colors.
    My biggest rant is all the water bottles. I keep a filtered pitcher at home and at work. I refill my bottle.

  • Sheena Medina

    Kevin- If I understand correctly, the inside is decorated with ocean debris and the outside is clear plastic so that you can see what is on the inside. If I'm wrong, maybe Ariel can step in, but I think that's what we have here.