“If we have rubbish bins on land, then why not in the water?” It was this simple question that led surfers Pete Ceglinski and Andrew Turton to leave their day jobs and design Seabin– a floating rubbish bin which can extract half a tonne of debris from the sea, including microplastics.
The device moves up and down with the range of tide. It collects water from the surface, passes it through a catch bag which retains debris, some pollutants and oils, and pumps the water back to the sea. After collecting 20kg of debris it needs to be emptied, with the waste going to proper disposal and with the bin returning to the sea.
The crowdfunding campaign for the Seabin raised some $360.000 and the first devices were installed in the marina of La Grande Motte in Southern France, spreading worldwide from St Katherine’s Docks in London, to Australia, to Japan, to the Caribbean and to the Singapore Yacht Club.
On a yearly basis, a single Seabin can catch 90.000 plastic bags, 35.700 disposable cups, 16.500 plastic bottles, and 165.500 plastic utensils. The device is best suited for marinas rather than the open ocean, to avoid strong waves.
It has been awarded, among others, the Advance Sustainability Award and various Product Design Awards. It is a local contribution to the battle against accumulated waste in the seas, small-scale but considerable. As for its creators, they are dreaming of a world where the seas are kept clean of pollution and the Seabins are simply not needed.