Seabin : a floating trash
Plastic has taken a big place in our society and its pollution has become a major issue. Andrew Turton, navigator and boat builder, and Pete Ceglinski, surfer and industrial designer (both Australian) found that the number of floating wastes increased during theirs sailings. That’s how the Seabin idea came up.
Image source : https://www.eco-business.com
What is the Seabin ?
Seabin is a container which is put in water, with a diameter of 50 centimeters, that catches floating waste, including plastic and hydrocarbons.
More than 5 years ago, a partnership with the French company Poralu Marine made this project a reality.
Characteristics of the Seabin
This bin can prevent this floating waste from going into the oceans. For example, it is placed in ports, in the area where the waste accumulates. It is attached to a floating pontoon and has a pump that creates a current. This current allows to attract waste and hydrocarbons.
Inside the collector there is a natural fiber bag that keeps the waste. It can store up to 20 kilograms of waste. Seabin can catch plastic waste that measures up to 2 millimeters. Finally, a separator separates hydrocarbons from water discharged into the harbor.
When the trash is full, a port agent has to empty it. Waste separation is done at this time, and recyclable plastics are sent to a sorting center.
The creators of the Seabin estimate that it can catch at least 1,5 kilograms of floating waste per day, which would represent more than half a tonne per year. This figure can increase depending on the weather.
Energy and necessary components
This ocean trash is currently made of plastic. Such paradoxical for an invention that aims to reduce plastic pollution. However, it is widely used in our modern societies and has some advantages. It is used here in a sustainable and environmentally oriented manner. The objective of the future Seabin will be to create them based on plastics recovered in the ports.
Regarding the energy of the pump, it has a low consumption. It can be provided by local renewable energies such as solar or wind.
Achievement of the Seabin project
The Seabin project was developed and tested in “La Grande Motte”, in France. It was the first port in France to install it. The latter, wishes to minimize the impact of its operation on the environment. The unit cost of this waste collector is 3 300 euros.
Several French ports followed this approach. Analyses of the first 6 bins installed in France reveal that 29% of the waste collected is cigarette butts, 28% is plastic and 26% is food packaging.