By now many of you out there know about the disturbing and growing problem of discarded plastic garbage floating in every ocean. Some masses are so large, one is estimated to be as large as the state of Texas! So there's a glint of hope when we hear a company used garbage collected from five different oceans to manufacture vacuum cleaners using 70% recycled plastic.
The plastic debris for the Vac from the Sea project has been collected in partnership with organizations and people that already are engaged in the issue, for example research organization B.E.A.C.H. on Hawaii, Blue View Divers in Thailand and Surfrider Foundation in France.
Yes, these Electrolux Green Range canister vacs are currently just one-off concept models, a mostly symbolic gesture with marketing/PR as an obvious initiative behind their creation. The true challenge will be gathering, sorting and processing used/discarded plastic waste for manufacturing sustainable appliances on a larger scale for affordable consumer goods available in-store (one might argue making products that last decades instead of years should coincide with this sustainability goal). But as a first step these Vac from the Sea concepts are actually fascinating examples, illustrating colorful, discarded plastics could live a second life and be used to embellish something as mundane as a canister vac (though a fairly handsome one at that).
One wonders how many customers might actually prefer purchasing appliances that shared this "eco-on-its-sleeve" aesthetic versus how many would prefer their sustainable product to be more invisible? Would you pay a little more knowing your product was made from gathered and remanufactured waste from the ocean? And if so, how much more: 5%, 10%, 20%?