For the first time in history, a plastic-collecting ‘seabin’ has been installed in British waters to help fight the growing number of pollutants in our oceans - estimated to be around eight million metric tons from landfill every year.
The seabin, installed in Portsmouth harbour, near the pontoon of Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) team, collects and disposes of all manner of debris including bottles, plastic bags and cigarette butts.
With a capacity of up to 1.5kg a day, the bin can hold up to 12kg at full capacity, collecting the equivalent of 20,000 bottles or 83,000 bags per annum.
Australian creators Pete Ceglinski and Andrew Turton were first inspired to create the device after learning that existing solutions (such as boats that are manually driven around harbours) were not effective, but were expensive to run and maintain.
Made up of a large fibre net and a dock-based pump, the seabin is able to collect floating debris that has gathered on the surface (as small as 2mm in diameter), and sucks in oil to protect the marine life.
It works by creating a flow of water passing into the bin, and bringing with it all the floating rubbish and debris, which is then caught in the bag and the clean water redistributed into the marina.
“Sure we can’t catch everything right now but it’s a really positive start. It’s a big mission, but it can be done. In fact, we’re doing it right now,” they said.
The pair chose to install them inside sheltered harbours and marinas, some in conjunction with local yacht clubs, because there are no ocean swells or huge storms to contend with like there would be at sea.
Once they had their prototype, they took to IndieGoGo to raise much-needed funds, they successfully raised over $260,000 and will be commercially available from November.
Currently they are installed in Spain’s Port Adriano and Port of Helsinki, Finland, but the team hope that one day they won’t be needed anywhere (a surprising suggestion given it would make their business redundant).
“Something even bigger would be a world where we don’t need the seabins.”
We couldn’t agree more.