Each year, more than 400 million metric tons of plastic is produced globally and shockingly only about 12% comes from recycled materials.* And the problem with plastic is that it doesn’t degrade easily – instead it piles up and leaches into our environment, polluting land, waterways and oceans. The world is drowning in plastic pollution, threatening our health and our planet.
Source: *OECD Environment Policy Paper no. 12, 2018
As manufacturers we know we are part of the problem – partly because we are challenged with access to safe and consistent high-quality recycled material in larger volumes. But as pioneers, we are committed to be part of the solution and are ready to lead the change necessary. We need to address the issue of waste – both in terms of what goes into new products but also what happens to products at the end of use.
In 2010, we were the first in the industry to highlight the problems around plastic waste and the global shortage of recycled plastic in our Vac from the Sea project. To step up the pace further, for this action we’ve partnered with Stena Recycling to create a prototype for change – a vacuum cleaner made out of 100 percent recycled plastic and reused components from electronic consumer products.
The recycled plastic in the prototype originates from products within Nordic households that have been left for recycling. In other words, it is your old hair dryers, vacuum cleaners and computers that can help us make fully-functional vacuum cleaners that can go back into your homes.
We also discovered that there was a lot of life left in the vacuum cleaner motors, and have reused the parts in the prototype that you might otherwise throw away, giving them a new life.
By 2030, the goal is for Electrolux product ranges to be made from at least 50% recycled plastic.
This action is about so much more than a vacuum cleaner. This is a call to arms for the appliance industry to work together to bring more products to market that make better use of materials. To work together to save our planet.
It is a prototype for change.