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Electrolux Vac From The Sea The Beginning of Solving The Plastic Ocean Crisis

May 28, 2011

Back in 2010 the Electrolux company was having trouble sourcing recycled plastics for its new vacuum manufacturing. Looking around and you can’t find recycled plastic and there a pile the size of the state of Texas just floating in the ocean for the taking. So once you are looking at free materials then your cost of production goes down. Much like the TerraCycle business model of getting the basic materials cheap and building products that consumers want and need at a price that is reasonable. Not to mention all the free press on blogs and Facebook that your products get for being green and the goodwill your company gets for doing the same.

So now if this one vacuum company can do it and make a profitable product line then other companies should be able to as well. Think of all the companies that use plastic just for consumer products and you can see the implications of getting the stuff for free. The effect it would have on the company’s bottom line would be huge. Not to mention that plastic is made out of oil, with oil being high cost now that makes this cheaper to do. I guarantee if we saw that pile of plastic as oil sitting out there for the taking it wouldn’t be there today.

Every company cannot do this get boats go out pick up the plastic and bring it to shore. Then they have to separate it into different types and melt it down for reuse. So what if instead of that model the model became something like fishing. You don’t go out and catch an Alaskan lobster you buy a ready to serve lobster. So if a company did this on a large enough scale they could see this plastic to manufacturers for a profit. So instead of ABC Widget company going out and getting plastic to use they buy ready to use plastic from a company that does that as their sole business. In this way it could be done on a large enough scale to make it not only profitable but could eventually reach the point where we are taking out more than is going into the garbage patch each year. Then at some point far in the future we would get to a point of peak plastic in the ocean. Like peak oil but we would run out of plastic in the ocean to recycle. I know wishful thinking but if it became economically feasible it could happen.

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