An Australian company has brought a new and innovative device to Canada. It’s called a Seabin and the purpose is simple — to help clean up trash in the ocean.
The devices are installed in specific problem areas at marinas, yacht clubs, ports or other calm bodies of water.
Because of their positioning, the wind and the currents are able to bring the debris to collect in the Seabin.
“A Seabin is basically a floating trash bin that we put in the marinas and it just sits there on the floating docks and it collects all the plastics, the debris, some surface oils,” said Peter Ceglinski, the CEO and co-founder of The Seabin Project.
Ceglinski and his team have been working on the Seabin idea for six years.
It’s estimated that one Seabin can catch an estimated 1.5 kilograms of floating debris per day.
“Over a year, that’s around a half a ton, and if you times that by 100 Seabins or 1,000 Seabins, you can really start to measure the impact,” said Ceglinski.
“They’re sitting there, they’re working 24/7, they’re just continually catching debris.”
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Halifax’s Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron is the first location in Canada to have a Seabin installed.
“The constitution of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron is all about seamanship, and part of seamanship is taking care of our environment,” said Commodore David Stanfield.
The Clean Nova Scotia Foundation, a group dedicated to creating a cleaner climate, is excited to see the new technology in action.
“This Seabin is to me, amazing, because it’s a tool that can be used by a lot of different people because we are a province that’s surrounded by water so we have lots of fishing harbours. I think we have 165 here in Nova Scotia alone,” said Sonia Smith, director of the foundation’s ship-to-shore program.
Smith says they often see a lot of different debris along the shores of the province.
“A lot of debris that we find washing up on shore are pieces of rope, plastic bags, your lunch, your typical lunch packaging, you know, your coffee cups, your plastic forks and knives, the strapping that would be around different bait boxes and different materials like that,” said Smith.
Right now, the Seabin is still in the pilot project phase. To date, there are now 11 Seabins in eight countries around the world.
Five hundred Seabin devices will go on sale on Nov. 6, at a cost of $3,300 per unit. Once the Seabins are out there, Ceglinski would like to be able to recycle the debris the device catches.
“Ultimately, we’d like to reuse the plastics that we’re catching with the Seabins to recreate Seabins or other products,” he said.
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Despite the new and impressive technology, Ceglinski says the device won’t end water pollution, alone.
“I think the most important thing to remember is that technology is never gonna be the solution to ocean plastics or littering. It’s education and I guess it’s changing our culture,” he said.
“Recycle, reduce, reuse — that’s the real solution.”