The first Seabin marine rubbish bin has been installed for test use in Uunisaari, Finland, off the coast of the Kaivopuisto district of Helsinki.
The Seabin is a floating rubbish bin that is located in the water at marinas, docks, yacht clubs and commercial ports, where it collects all floating rubbish. Water is sucked in from the surface and passes through the catch bag inside the Seabin. The water is then pumped back into the marina leaving litter and debris trapped in the catch bag to be disposed of properly.
The Seabin also has the potential to collect some of the oils and pollutants floating on the water surface. The Seabin Project's team currently uses 12-volt submersible water pumps that can use alternative and clean energy sources. These may include solar, wave or wind power, depending on the location and available technology.
Seabin Project launched its new V5 Hybrid model at the end of April. It then began installing prototypes at its pilot partners' sites for three-months' trial.
The partners hope that the floating rubbish bin will raise awareness of plastic littering in the sea - one of the world's greatest environmental problems. It is estimated that by 2025, the oceans will contain one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish. It is also estimated that by 2050, the oceans will contain more plastic by weight than fish (source: Ellen Macarthur Foundation, 2016). In 10 years, more plastic has been produced in the world than in the entire 20th century. Plastic causes more than $13 billion of damage to marine ecosystems every year.
Animals swallow our waste and become entangled in it. Local marine environments suffer, which decreases fish and shellfish stocks. Shipping and tourism may suffer, as people are exposed to harmful impurities when they inadvertently eat polluted seafood.
Seabins are expected to go on commercial sale in August.
Wärtsilä will be operating as the Seabin Project's global pilot partner for the next three years. The other six pilot partners are La Grande Motte in Southern France, Porto Montenegro in Montenegro, Port Adriano in Mallorca (Spain), Butterfield in Bermuda, and Safe Harbor Marinas in the United States.
Seabin Project's Pete Ceglinski says: "The installation of the V5 Seabin here in Helsinki marks a real turning point in the fight against plastics and littering. Wärtsilä is the first big industry entity to partner with the Seabin Project, which is a world first. We hope that this partnership with Wärtsilä inspires other big industry players to partner with smaller businesses that have big ideas for a cleaner environment."