The age of plastic

By | Science & Technology
The Seabin project aims to clear the ocean of pollution and debris.Credit@Seabin

The Seabin project has developed a device to reduce the pollution in the oceans, ranging from plastics to oils, it may be an ideal solution to the cleaning of enclosed water coves. The team are optimistic in the Seabin’s competency and start manufacturing in the near future.

With the health of the oceans a current topic of discussion, technologies to curtail the amount of waste, plastic and oils are needed. Plastics in particular are dispersed evenly around the globe having an impact on ocean life and accumulate in enclosed areas like marinas, harbours, lakes and other water sources. Conventional strategies for reducing the levels of waste, oils and plastics may be time consuming or expensive and in the process only remove particular types of pollution. The ramification of this is 5 trillion pieces of plastic distributed in the world’s oceans.

The Seabin project team have created an innovative solution to the challenges faced in aiming to capture and reduce this pollution; designing an automated debris bin intended to be submerged in the water to collect debris, oil, fuel and detergents, four years in the making. Specifically constructed for use in enclosed water areas such as marinas, harbours, yacht clubs, lakes and Ports, where this type of debris collects and where boats are often present. The project aims to work with authorities to place the Seabin in these water catchments, reducing the transport of these materials into the wider ocean.

The Seabin works by being placed in the water and collecting debris circulated by natural currents and surface winds. A pump extracts water down through the bottom of the bin to the pump and all that’s remaining is clean water returned to the water source and a catch-bag of debris. An oil/water separator may also be installed aiding the improvement of water quality, focusing on the oils, detergents and fuels. The ingenuity of the device seems to be constantly working to improve the health of the water source, meaning water users and wildlife benefit from a safer environment. It may also be attached to yachts or boats collecting debris on the move or in static water.

The project seems to have ambitious goals for improving the health of oceans, ideally to help completely remove plastics and pollution from the oceans. To achieve this, importance has been placed in developing education programs persuading individuals to be more thoughtful in the disposal of plastics. With an obvious care and passion for the ocean ecosystem the team is aiming to create Seabins using sustainable materials and to have the minimum possible carbon footprint in the production process. Thought put into the plastic captured may be demonstrated by the team aiming to recycle all plastic for energy purposes or to be put to other uses.

Individuals may show support for the project using the crowd funded “Indiegogo” to donate funds, the team aimed for $230,000 to turn the dream into a reality and to date have raised $267,767, many believing in the dignity of the project.

Director of the project Pete Ceglinski spoke with The Positive to explain how the project is now in negotiations with a European manufacturer, which has agreed to worldwide manufacturing and distribution; the team are also searching for manufacturers in South America. The Seabin project may be up and running by the end of the year or early next year, with the team currently working on high level product development and are open to expressions of interest particularly from environmental groups.

The project’s founders seem to place the health of the oceans over any financial gain; epitomised in the wish for pollution free oceans and a reduced need for Seabins. If the Seabin becomes popular it may support the environmental clean up of the oceans, which are affected by pollution in various ways. The beneficial effects may help stimulate the activity of ocean life. The project aims to place an importance on the education of populations in order to demonstrate an understanding of what may be needed to be done, to realise its goal.

How may individuals contribute to an improved environment?

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