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I was reminded by a comment on our Facebook page by the Domestic Cleaning Alliance's Stephen Munton, about a range of vacuum cleaners which - when I wrote about them in 2010 - I'd hoped would soon become widely available. As well as being striking in design, as our picture shows, they're not the sort of thing you'd easily lose in the cleaning cupboard, are they? What made them extra special was the fact that they'd been manufactured from waste plastics collected from the ocean... something useful being made from something bad... Stephen mentioned that back in the late 1990s, Dyson made the 'DC02 Recyclone' cylinder vacuum cleaner out of waste plastic from the factory. The intention was to eventually collect and recycle worn-out Dyson cleaners from customers, so as to continue making the Recyclone, but, sadly, this was never followed through.
What got both Stephen and me reminiscing was a video I'd posted of a boat which is sailing 500km along the coast of Kenya to raise awareness of plastic pollution. Called the Flipflopi, it's made from 10 tons of waste collected on the Kenyan coastline, including 30,000 recycled flip-flops to make the hull and decking! The boat is mooring up to visit schools along the way so those on board can share their views with teachers and pupils on the problems created by plastics and provide insights into repurposing the waste they create.
The expedition has already inspired the city of Mombasa to close down a mismanaged dumpsite and get 22 major hotels to ban single-use plastic bottles and straws, so it's doing well.
Kenya introduced the world's toughest plastic bag ban in 2017, decreeing that those producing, selling or using plastic bags could be imprisoned for four years or faced with a fine of up to $40,000. I wish other countries would follow suit.
Now... flip-flop boat to take me exploring the seas or a colourful vacuum cleaner to help me with the housework... it's really a no-brainer, isn't it?
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21st February 2019