THE waters around Portsmouth will be a little cleaner in future thanks to an innovative new litter bin.
A ‘seabin’ has been installed at the docks by the city’s Land Rover BAR base, and will act as a ‘floating rubbish bin’ in the Solent.
By sucking in water the device can trap litter and debris in its catch bag, leaving the clean water to flow back out into the ocean.
Yesterday a group of Year 5 pupils from Gomer Junior School, in Gosport, were invited to the sailing base to learn more about seabins and their benefits.
Seabin co-founder Pete Ceglinski left his job as a product designer to work on the water, and has spent the last couple of years creating the seabin to help protect the environment.
He said: ‘I quit my job to do boat building, and spent my time on the water sailing and surfing.
We want to show people the impacts of our actions.Seabin co-founder Pete Ceglinski
‘My business partner Andrew Turton came up with the idea of the seabin, and it was like a lightbulb moment.
‘We will never make an impact when you litter and do not recycle. A big part of the business model is to have education, science, and teach people how to protect the environment.
‘We want to show people the impacts of our actions. We do not have to buy six pairs of shoes every year or drop that Coke can on the floor.’
The Portsmouth device will be the world’s first commercial seabin, and is the only one installed in the UK to date.
Bins will collect an average of one to 1.5kg of debris every day, and items trapped will be down to 2mm in diameter.
Running costs are also low with each bin costing less than $1 – or about 75p – a day.
Amy Munro, sustainability manager at Land Rover BAR, said: ‘Right from the beginning sustainability has been embedded into everything we do. Our sailors go around the world and they see the problems first hand.
‘It is a key passion of ours because we see it every day. Seabins are not going to solve the problem of pollution, but it’s about awareness. People are really engaged with learning about it.’
The bins, which each have the capability to collect 83,000 plastic shopping bags a year, are being installed worldwide as part of a crowdfunding campaign.
A total of 550,000 euros – about £495,000 – has been raised through online platforms in the last two years to help the project get off the ground.
Mr Ceglinski said about 10 seabins are in place in seven countries across the world, and there are hopes the company will start selling them commercially by next year.
The children’s visit was part of the Stem project, which encourages school pupils to take more interest in science, technology, engineering and maths.
The pupils watched a video explaining how seabins are made, took part in activities focusing on environmental protection, and had a look at the pontoon’s seabin first being used.
As well as litter the seabins also have the potential to collect oils and pollutants from the water’s surface.
The team behind the devices use 12-volt submersible water pumps that can use clean energy sources such as solar, wave and wind.