It’s no secret that our oceans are heavily polluted with plastic trash.
The problem is only growing. World plastic production increased from 2.3 million tonnes in 1950 to a whopping 448 milllion tonnes by 2015. By 2050, It is estimated that the ocean will contain more plastics than fish (by weight). With these statistics, the future can look bleak.
However, these innovative thinkers are working towards changing this future reality to a more positive narrative. The creators of Seabin—a floating rubbish bin-like contraption— aim to use their invention to collect and reduce the amount of plastic in the ocean, create awareness around the issue and promote more conscious behaviour to younger generations.
What is a Seabin?
Essentially, a Seabin is just that—a floating trash can. Designed to sit in marinas, ports or anywhere the water is calm, it collects all floating rubbish. Water is pulled in from the water’s surface and passes through a catch bag inside the device.
“The Pump then draws 25,000 litres of water an hour which creates a gentle current, drawing floating debris to the Seabin,” explains Seabin’s David Turton in an email.
Image: Sketch of how the Seabin works, photograph provided by the Seabin Project
The water is then pumped back outside the device, leaving just the litter and debris in the catch bag. According to the team, if only half the world’s marinas and ports installed Seabins, there would be 30 million kilograms less waste in the ocean every year.
Where does the waste go?
“Every location, we promote the appropriate disposal of the waste. We are working on some strategies to create a circular plastic economy,” Turton writes.
According to Hurton, average “catch rates, after removal of terrestrial biomass, is 28% plastic, 15% cigarette butts (but has been as high as 28%), and 12% food wrappers” which all gets disposed of thoughtfully and responsibly.
The bins have been placed in 23 countries all over the world with two demo bins moving around Australia.
Image: before and after the Seabin was placed in the marina, photograph provided by the Seabin Project
“[The demo bins] have been at Australian Maritime Museum, Docklands Melbourne, Wharf Mooloolaba, CYCA Rushcutters Bay, D’Albora Marina Sydney, Southport Yacht Club. They will soon be at Viaduct in Auckland and RQYS Brisbane for the Etchell Worlds,” Turton states.
Part of a larger solution
While Seabin is pushing forward, the creators believe the device is just a small part of a larger solution. The Seabin team is working to address the immediate problem but also implement steps for better education surrounding our oceans.
What are the next steps for the Seabin device?
“Finalise development of the Fixed Dock Seabin, Launch the Seabin Foundation, open the market in the USA, and Canada,” explains Turton.
“Prepare for China and India.”
Lead Image: Seabin in marina, photograph supplied by the Seabin Project