Electrolux calls attention to ocean dumping of plastic through Vac From the Sea initiative

Consumer Reports News: July 07, 2010 12:13 PM

An artist's rendering of a Vac From the Sea model.
The images coming out of the Gulf of Mexico serve as a constant reminder of the almost incomprehensible environmental devastation being caused by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

There's another huge ecological nightmare thousands of miles away from the Gulf of Mexico, though it rarely receives much attention. Called the Pacific Trash Vortex or the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, this  agglomeration consists of plastic items of every imaginable type that have been discarded on land or at sea and which have assembled into a mass whose size has been estimated by some at twice that of the entire state of Texas.

Swedish appliance manufacturer Electrolux is trying to draw attention to the issues of plastic pollution and ocean dumping through its Vac From the Sea initiative. The program involves collecting enough plastic from oceans and seas throughout the world to make the casings of five or more working vacuums. (An artist's conceptual rendering is shown.) The company also wants to raise awareness of the use of recycled plastics in the manufacture of appliances.

The Vac From the Sea models will be displayed this summer at the company's headquarters in Stockholm. They're not for sale, though it's easy to imagine Electrolux auctioning them off or selling them as a fund-raising effort.

Vac From the Sea isn't the latest green-vacuum effort from Electrolux. Fifty-five percent of the plastic used in the Electrolux Ultra Silencer Green EL6984A canister is recycled, according to Electrolux. And the manufacturer addressed energy consumption with the Eureka EnviroVac 3041, which was equipped with an 8-amp motor rather than the usual 12-amp motor. (Electrolux makes Eureka vacuums.)

Ed Perratore

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