The Seabin: the debris-sucking saviour of the oceans
Name: The Seabin.
Age: Brand new.
Appearance: It’s like a bin, but it’s in the sea.
Why would you put a bin in the sea? To collect rubbish.
A bin in the sea is rubbish. Not this one. The Seabin is there to gather waste, not be waste.
How far do I have to swim out to put my gum in it? You don’t. Your rubbish comes to the Seabin.
I am not ashamed to say that I don’t get it. Invented by Australian surfers Pete Ceglinski and Andrew Turton, the Seabin is a “floating debris interception device” that uses a pump to suck rubbish off the water’s surface. It can collect 1.5kg of debris a day, and holds up to 12kg before it needs emptying.
What does sea rubbish consist of ? Plastic bottles and bags, crisp packets, cigarette butts – that sort of thing.
How disgusting. Can you use it to catch fish, by any chance? No, they don’t swim close enough to the surface to get sucked in. But it can remove oil and detergents from the water.
Amazing. So we put one of these every 50 yards across the ocean, problem solved. The Seabin isn’t suitable for open ocean – too many waves. It’s meant for problem areas such as marinas, where tides and currents concentrate floating debris. One is currently being installed in Portsmouth harbour.
Will one be enough? Not really. A typical marina would probably need four, but they cost £3K each.
Do you know how many bins I could buy at Ikea for £3K? This one floats, though.
Oh yeah. The inventors have set up a factory in France, and hope to make 360 Seabins a month.
My calculations suggest that 360 bins a month will not rid the oceans of rubbish any time soon. You’re correct. Even Ceglinski and Turton know the emphasis needs to be on rethinking the way we treat our seas.
Exactly. Why can’t people put rubbish where it belongs, on unfenced waste ground? It is also about living sustainably. Ceglinski and Turton hope one day to make a Seabin from recycled plastics collected by a Seabin.
Do say: “The Seabin may not be the solution to ocean pollution, but it’s a start.”
Don’t say: “Have you seen my new Canaltrolley? It’s like a shopping trolley, but it’s in a canal.”
Ace of waste … Peter Ceglinski and Andrew Turton, inventors of the Seabin.