The suckers from the sea

It's hard to believe people once thought environmentalism was an excuse for tree-hugging back-to-nature ludditery. It's becoming more and more obvious that saving the world is going to involve buying loads of really cool gadgets.

Take for example these funky Electrolux hoovers. Note the crazy coloured patterns. The product of an expensive collaboration with a trendy fashion house? Not exactly. The designs each represent one of the world's great seas - because each hoover was made from rubbish collected from that sea.

According to Gizmodo, 'The North Sea cleaner for example (the far-left one), was created mostly from detergent bottles, cans and plastic buckets, and cut up into small circular tokens that were then woven into fiberglass and molded. For the Baltic Sea one (on the far-right) the shape of the objects was kept—you can make out a flip flop, bottle tops and icecream wrappers.'

So is ocean-retrieval the new way of getting plastic to make things? Not really. It's crazy expensive, so much so that Electrolux have made just one of each of these cleaners and are only selling one, at auction, with the proceeds going to research into the collecting technique. But if it can be done with ocean waste, it can be done with plastic from the recycling bin - so your next hoover might have little bits of bottle-cap visible in the casing after all.

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