Seabin – The Plastic Prevention Project
Each year, roughly eight million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the ocean waters. The Seabin, however, may allow this to change in Australia, before doing the same for the rest of the world. Having first found popularity in France, they are now being pushed on a wider scale, being installed in many rivers and oceans around the world.
What is a Seabin?
A Seabin is exactly as the name suggests, a bin designed to collect waste from the sea when placed near coastal areas. A pump creates a flow that allows for the plastic in the waters to be drawn towards it and collected in a bag.
Whilst you may be concerned about marine life being affected by this, the tests for the past four years have shown not a single case of fish being caught in the stream.
Expansion into Australia
Perth’s City of Cockburn was the first part of western Australia to have its council invest in a Seabin. Since then, an initial run of 60 Seabins were installed in Australia as the first of the project to be paid for by the government.
Prior to that, the project was sponsored by a volunteer organisation called Coastal Warriors. Now, the government is doing their part to help in preventing the contamination of the oceans.
When asked about the progress with Seabins, the waste projects officer for Port
Macquarie-Hastings Council, Nicky Julian, said: “Obviously we’re pro-waste avoidance and not littering in the first place, but it’s good to have this as a bit of a catch for those things that do get past our bins.”
The government funded organisation that help expand Seabin, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), have had their staff express their praise in the project. It acts as an example of what they want to achieve in their goal of reducing the amount of litter in and around the country by 40% by 2020.
The Remaining Problems
Chief executive and co-founder of Seabin, Pete Ceglinski, has said that the project is more of a reactive solution, rather than being one to fully prevent the problem of marine littering. Whilst he pointed out that 1.7 tonnes of litter is removed each day, the same amount is being put in.
“The average is about 4 kilograms a day, some locations it might be 100 kilograms or 50 kilograms, other locations it might be none — it just depends on the wind, the weather, and the amount of debris on the streets surrounding the water bodies.”
In order to put in more permanent solutions, the organisation is taking the waste removed by the Seabins to analyse the types entering the water and collect data in order to find solutions to reduce the amount entering the system. The data being passed on to nationwide data collection points will help in allowing many statistic experts to analyse how to deal with the current waste situation.
Whilst Seabin won’t end the mountains of plastic polluting our waters, it will be a major asset in stopping the problem getting any worse whilst people figure out permanent solutions to kill the problem at its core.
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