Two Australian surfers have designed an automated rubbish bin that literally sucks pollution out of the water at marinas and ports. This low-cost and low-maintenance solution could help keep marine litter under control.
Marine litter is a plague in most marinas and ports. Those who spend a lot of time in water know about the conspicuous plastic objects that float around because they were not properly discarded. This litter is not only visually unappealing, but it is a real environmental problem and a threat to marine wildlife. The European Environmental Agency estimates that 36 percent of seabird species ingest marine litter.
Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski, two Australian surfers based in Palma de Mallorca, came up with an innovative solution to this problem: Seabin.
The Seabin could help intercept marine litter before it harms wildlife or enters the foodchain. The device consists of a large bucket connected to a water pump.The water pumps sucks water into the bucket, along with plastic and other pollution. As the water makes its way down the bucket, solid objects in the water are trapped in the net that lines the bucket. The water is sucked into the water pump, in which any oil is separated. The clean, unpolluted water is then released back to the sea through another tube.
According to the designers, fish are not harmed by Seabin as only objects on the surface are sucked in. An ongoing study will determine whether the buckets have any negative impacts on microscopic sealife.
After four years of testing, Seabins will be available for purchase starting in late 2016. If you wish to encourage this project, you can make a donation on their crowdfunding page.
The current Seabin model is not fit for tidal waters and therefore can only be used in environments such as ports, marinas and yacht clubs. Controlling the pollution in such areas would still be a significant improvement on the current situation. In addition, Seabin’s technology could perhaps be adapted to different environments and used to clean the ocean elsewhere.