Electrolux Goes Fishing to Improve Our “˜Plastic Karma’


Plastic is everywhere. It’s littering our oceans, and even has its own homeland: a behemoth floating mass of plastic known as the Pacific Garbage Patch or, as Planet Green called it in an informative guest post, the “Oh My”¦What Have We Done!?” Scientists say it’s twice the size of Texas (that still state-of-the-art term for Big) and growing. Already aware of this? Well, how about this? The demand for recycled plastic far exceeds its availability. So yeah, maybe we ought to do some fishing.

Electrolux certainly thinks so, as it hits the high seas (all of them, in fact), to gather plastic and make vacuum cleaners. Yep. Vacuum cleaners from the sea. (I so bet you never experienced that sentence before. Probably won’t ever again.) They’re even calling it that. Kinda. The company’s “Vac from the Sea” program “aims to bring attention to the issue of plastic pollution and at the same time combat the scarcity of recycled plastics needed for making sustainable home appliances.”

“There are plastic islands, some several times the size of the state of Texas [See! Everyone loves to say that!], floating in our oceans,” says Cecilia Nord, Vice President, Floor Care Environmental and Sustainability Affairs, Electrolux. “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.”

Unfortunately, we’re all not going to be able to buy into the program, as they plan to only make a limited number of these suckers, which will be “put on display to decision makers and consumers as part of spreading the word.” The plastic debris will be “harvested” from the Pacific, Indian, Atlantic (which has its very own “patch,” recently fearlessly explored by one of our writers), and Mediterranean oceans, as well as the Baltic and North seas, by diving, fishing and scavenging. It’s hardly an assault on the mainland of that floating Texas, but it’s a start.

If you’re looking to get involved or follow the program’s progress, check out their blog and Facebook pages. Oh, and there’s a cool little video posted over at Crisp Green, too.

Scott Adelson

Scott Adelson is EcoSalon's Senior Editor of HyperKulture, a monthly column that explores opening cultural doors to initiate personal change. He is also the author of InPRINT, which reviews and discusses books, new and old. You can reach him at scott@adelson.org.