BY: CAITLIN CHANDER
As Australians, we are pretty lucky with our land, our forests, and our oceans. Many of us do all we can to preserve these treasures with efforts such as Clean Up Australia Day, which help Aussies recognise the effect our careless lifestyles can have on our environment. Yet, with all the energy we put into recycling and disposing of waste, we are still not making a significant dent in the problem. What we are constantly reminded of is that we are running out of time.
According to a 2011 Electrolux Plastics Pollution Report, up to 72% of Australians do not understand what constitutes recyclable plastic. We all know that plastic bags are not recyclable, yet we still dispose of them thoughtlessly. When unusable plastic is disposed of incorrectly, we risk contaminating potentially re-usable materials. With nearly 88% of us confused about which plastics to recycle, is it any wonder that there is a blimp in our recycling programmes?
Champion Surfer and lover of the ocean, Layne Beachley has teamed up with Electrolux to introduce the global Vac from the Sea initiative. The collection of funky vacuums not only makes the humdrum task of cleaning your house more exciting, it is also made of 55% recycled plastics, from marine plastic debris.
“As a surfer I regularly experience first-hand the vast amount of rubbish that ends up polluting our oceans,” Layne explains. “The Vac from the Sea initiative brings attention to the issue of plastic pollution, while at the same time addressing the lack of recycled plastics needed for creating sustainable products for future generations.”
The scheme, initiated by Electrolux, aims to direct attention to the amount of plastic entering our water systems. “The Pacific Ocean is polluted with the largest floating garbage islands in the world,” says Julian Huitfeldt, Electrolux Product Marketing Manager, Floor Care and Small Appliances. “Yet, on land we struggle to get hold of enough recycled plastics to meet the demand for sustainable vacuum cleaners.”
It is important that we sustain a recycle programmes in our households and familiarise ourselves on plastics that can be recycled, and those that cannot. Daily waste such as plastic bottles, bags, containers and lids can easily be discarded or used as landfill if they are not put into the correct disposal bins. More often than not, these unrecyclable items end up in the ocean, causing potential harm to many of our protected species such as sea lions, whales, dolphins and penguins.
DIY jobs and renovations are also a huge source of waste and considerable effort must be taken to ensure that we dispose of our plastics smartly. Exercising wise choices can mean a sustainable environment for all our beautiful Australian marine life.
The colourful Electrolux Vac from the Sea range includes a model manufactured from waste found in Australian beaches and the coastline.