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Automatic rubbish removers for ports and coasts

Global Society & Global Goals
Automatic rubbish removers for ports and coasts

2015, Palma Mallorca, Spain: Australian surfers, sailors, boatbuilders, and ocean lovers Pete Ceglinski and Andrew Turton were working on boats in a marina in Spain when they were shocked to see how much trash was in the water. The marina's "solution" was to hire someone to wander around with a pool scooper, ladling up trash that would later return. "If we can have trash cans on land, why not have them in the ocean," Pete and Andrew reasoned. Why not, in fact?

The idea for a trash can for the water called a Seabin was born. In contrast to Terra Firma, where you have the luxury of solid ground, the ocean is distinct for its inclination for perpetual motion in addition to being overflowed with increasing amounts of plastic trash.

How on earth do you park a trashcan in the drink? And why would rubbish just randomly fall into the water when it can so happily float around clogging up the essential organs of wildlife? Although Pete and Andrew weren't fully sure, they were confident enough in their capacity to solve problems that they decided to quit their jobs, take their life savings, and rent and remodel a former factory that had been used to restore furniture in Palma de Mallorca.

They immediately got to work, learning how to weld from YouTube videos, repairing the original catch bags on a machine that was 60 years old, and using their skills to figure out how on earth to get trash out of the sea and into their inexperienced Seabin.

Simple in design, the Seabin is placed in the water in ports, waterfronts, yacht clubs, and foreshores that have existing infrastructure. It is a cross between a rubbish can and a pool skimmer. Water is drawn in from the surface and pumped out the bottom of the Seabin by a water pump that is located there. A filter that catches floating plastic pollution is in the middle. While floating debris such as plastic bottles, plastic bags, polystyrene, microplastics, fuel, oil, detergents, parking tickets, cigarette butts, chocolate wrappers, and anything else you can think of is captured, the water drawn in is filtered and released back into the ocean. Even microfibres like fishing line and plastic threads are regularly collected.

Since their establishment in 2016, Seabin has been working nonstop to promote cleaner oceans. They now work in 54 nations and have 860 Seabins (including one in Manly - their port where it all began)that collect about 4 tonnes of trash that lives in the ocean each day. 1,665,781kg of rubbish have been taken out of the ocean using seabins, a quantity that is constantly rising. This is a severe matter.

The global goal of the Seabins is to "live in a world without Seabins," not to rule over every empty lake with their imposing repository. While the addition of sea bins is only a small part of the sustainability puzzle, it is nevertheless always promising to see individuals doing what they can to further the environmental agenda.

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