The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a floating raft of plastic trash the size of Texas in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, seems an insurmountable problem. But appliance manufacturer Electrolux has decided that when life hands you plastic, make vacuum cleaners.
Under a program called “Vac From the Sea,” the company will harvest plastic from the patch and other marine environments and use it to manufacture vacuum cleaners and other devices. It is largely a symbolic gesture, since plastic of so many disparate types is expensive and impractical to separate, clean and recycle. But Electrolux says it hopes the program will raise awareness of the threat plastic waste poses to the ecosystem.
Sadly, the company can’t manufacture a vacuum big enough to clean the world’s oceans of human waste once and for all.