Introducing The Seabin, A New Way To Clean Up The Ocean

Ocean trash is everywhere. I learned about this first hand when I spent a day cleaning up the river at Great Falls, Virginia. After five hours of work, the group I was with had filled numerous plastic bags with fishing lures, enormous coolers, remains of fast food meals, three tires, even dirty diapers, and various other garbage that had floated down the Potomac River.

What happens to all that casual trash that flies off of boats or is dropped off the side of docks? It’s not a pretty picture: fish and other marine life may mistake it as food, causing the plastic to get stuck in their stomachs or other organs. Albatrosses may feed it to their chicks, who are unable to regurgitate the plastic.

Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski are trying to make a dent in our oceans’ plastic problem. The two Australians have come up with the Seabin, a device designed to clean up marinas, coves, and harbors of the trash that floats around in those areas, before the tides take it back out, to be deposited at the bottom of the river, sea or lake. And the best thing is that it doesn’t harm fish.

Seabin, of course, will not rid the oceans of all the trash that we drop into the oceans, but it will safely collect the trash that falls off of boats or blows into the ocean from the shore. To save our ecosystems, humans need to stop dropping trash (and also help pick up any trash they see) to clean our waters and protect our aquatic life.

The Fight To Clean Our Oceans

The mounting plastic waste in the world’s oceans has been the subject of of some pretty bold environmental undertakings. 5 Gyres is an awesome organization; after only six years, it has launched 16 ocean research expeditions, obtaining groundbreaking plastic pollution data, passed the first state microbead legislation, restored habitat with international beach clean ups and educated millions about the dangers of plastic pollution. 

Then there’s the Ocean Cleanup Project that aims to eradicate the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. (Actually there’s not just one. Marine debris concentrates in various regions of the North Pacific. The exact size, content, and location of the “garbage patches” are difficult to accurately determine.)

This year, the project set out to gather research in the Pacific. Thirty vessels embarked on a month-long voyage, or Mega Expedition, with a goal of determining the amount of plastic floating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The actual cleanup of the Patch is expected to begin in 2020.

The Seabin Project

The Seabin Project represents a smaller-scale approach. As Pete Ceglinski explains in this video, “We could have a better time at the beach because we’re not swimming in plastic and pollution anymore, and we could eat better because the fish are healthier.”

He goes on,”It catches everything floating in the water: plastic bottles, paper, oil, fuel and detergent.” People can also see what they’re feeding fish.

So how does this device work?

The Seabin is basically a water filtering system designed for contained environments like marinas and ports. Since it is sheltered from strong currents and ocean storms, it can work on pollution in visible areas where there is plenty of human activity.

Once installed on a dock and plumbed into a shore-based water pump, with the rim sitting even with the surface of the water, the pump sucks water into the bin and along with the water comes all the surrounding trash. A removable catch bag made from natural fiber then gathers the debris and the water is pumped through to an oil-water separator, cleaned, and fed back into the ocean.

As Ceglinski explains, “Our goal is to create a world where we don’t need the Seabins. Imagine that: we have a pollution-free ocean for our future generations.”

 

78 comments

Mark Donners
Mark Donner2 years ago

The best solution available (invented by a teenager in Holland) which in the process of being deployed, for cleaning up the millions of tons of plastic in the 5 gyres:

www.theoceancleanup.com

http://www.gizmag.com/ocean-cleanup-tsushima-island-korea-strait/37829/?li_source=LI&li_medium=default-widget

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcXS4bTxLjI&feature=player_embedded

SEND
Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

SEND
Kathryn Irby
Past Member 3 years ago

What a wonderful, innovative invention!! Will become very useful, indeed. Thanks for posting.

SEND
Sam E M.
Sam E M3 years ago

Well done to these two Australians. Isn't it a sad thing that we actually need the Seabin, though, because litterbugs throw their trash into the waterways instead of in the nearest bin or taking it home to throw out.

SEND
Kathryn Irby
Past Member 3 years ago

Now, to churn out a few million more of these! Thanks for posting.

SEND
Grace Adams
Grace Adams3 years ago

Sorry, I must have misread the article yesterday. Now I see it is attached to a floating dock with plumbing and a pump to pull water over its edge and through filters to separate whatever was floating on water so water can be separated from oil and returned cleaner to the body of water from which it was drawn after being processed on shore.

SEND
Grace Adams
Grace Adams3 years ago

It is not a little robot that can patrol a beach for a few hours come back to drop off a load of trash and a used filter and pick up a clean filter. It needs to be towed by a boat nearly as close to shore as the boat can safely go with its buoyancy carefully adjusted to skim the surface as it is towed. It is for use in a harbor, marina, or cove, not open ocean. It has its limits, but also its niche in which it helps clean along shore lines,

SEND
3 years ago

thanks for posting

SEND
3 years ago

nice article

SEND
Lorraine Andersen

Someone certainly need to clean this planet up. I guess people don't think that animals have to live among all that trash they throw out. The highways in Kentucky look like a landfill. How hard is it to take your trash back home and put it the garbage where it belongs?

SEND