People are finally waking up to the scourge of plastic pollution and the perils of excess packaging. Microbeads have been banned in the UK, the war on plastic bags continues and these days it's not uncommon to face opprobrium for using a plastic bottle, straw or disposable coffee cup in certain circles. All of which is great news but, sadly, there's still a shedload of pollutants already in our oceans.
Enter the Seabin, a plastic-collecting device which has just been installed in British waters to collect and dispose of the plethora of crap that our careless species has dumped there. Located in Portsmouth harbour, near the pontoon of Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) team, it's the first time such a device has been installed in the country.
The “floating debris interception device” uses a pump to suck rubbish – be it plastic bottles, plastic bags, cigarette butts, crisp packets, and even oil and detergents – off the water's surface, leaving the ocean cleaner and a safer place for marine life.
Invented by Australians Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski, the Seabin can collect up to 1.5kg of debris a day and hold up to 12kg at full capacity, the Guardian reported, which reportedly equates to around 80k plastic bottles or 83k plastic bags a year. Luckily, the creators have assured us, fish don't swim close enough to the water's surface to get sucked in by the pump, so it's not a risk to them.
Ceglinski and Turton created the bin after finding out that existing methods of clearing up the ocean were both expensive and ineffective. "Trash boats" with nets built into them will commonly be driven around harbours and marinas, and marina workers will even walk around with nets scooping up rubbish manually.
By contrast the Seabin, they argue, "isn’t big or bulky and can fit into the problem corners of marinas without being obtrusive or taking up dock space for boats." The waste "is collected easily and disposed of responsibly in the already establish waste disposal system of the marina."
The pair successfully raised over $260k USD via IndieGogo once they'd created a prototype and the business will be commercially viable from November, the Huffington Post reported. As well as Portsmouth, there are Seabins installed in Port Adriano in Spain and Port of Helsinki, Finland.
Ultimately, however, they – selflessly – want the device to become pointless, hankering after "a world where we don’t need the seabins.” Wouldn't that be a fine thing?
Want more like this?