The idea is that bottles, plastic bags, styrofoam and other forms of trash can be thwarted from floating into the open ocean with a Seabin. That’s why the project largely installs the bins at marinas, ports and yacht clubs where there’s a smaller chance of ocean swells or storms that can damage the bins. These environmentally-controlled areas have lots of human traffic near bodies of water and therefore are the best place to curtail pollution before it spreads.
The Australian company’s goal is to make the need for its own product obsolete by eliminating ocean pollution altogether.
But the Seabin is more than a floating trash can. The Seabin can intercept floating debris, like macro and microplastics, microfibers, detergents and oils. It then filters the water and releases it back into the ocean newly cleansed.
“We pump it out the bottom. And then we filter the debris and the trash and the oil with the filter in the middle of that,” CEO Pete Ceglinski told CNET. “With the current filter we’re using, we’re catching microplastics up to 2 millimeters in size. And we have developed the filter using a finer mesh where we’ve been catching microfibers. So stuff that you cannot see with the naked eye.”
The Seabin can pull in debris from about 5 to 15 feet away but it can only catch smaller pieces of garbage floating in its path.
“We found that the number one item the Seabins are catching is cigarette butts. The number two is plastic particles and the third one is food wrappers,” Ceglinski said. “Plus the oil as well which is always present in a marina.”
Currently there are about 860 Seabins placed around the world capturing roughly 7,963 pounds of waste a day.
If you enjoyed this story, check out this engineer who’s making fishing boats out of plastic bottles.
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