Floating bins set up in bid to keep London’s waters free from plastic

The Seabin Project has installed receptacles in the capital to collect water-borne waste, such as shopping bags, cigarette butts and plastic bottles.

A seabin at St. Katharine Docks.

Floating bins which clear debris and plastic from the water have been installed in central London marina, St. Katharine Docks, as part of a bid to clean up the water in the River Thames.

Three containers, known as “seabins”, have been set up as part of a drive by St. Katharine Docksas it aims to invest more in sustainability and environmentally-friendly initiatives.

It is among the first places in the UK to install the bins, says St. Katherine Docks, which is managed by Camper & Nicholsons Marinas.

Water flows in and out of the marina from the River Thames, and more than 300,000 kilograms of rubbish is cleared from the Thames every year, according to the Docks. The seabins aim to play a “crucial role” in reducing the amount of waste flowing back into the river.

Paul Tetlow, marina manager at St. Katharine Docks, says the organisation is “always looking at ways in which [it] can support sustainability initiatives and help fight plastic pollution in the oceans”.

Waste trapped in a Seabin at St Katharine Docks, London.

The receptacles have been designed as part of the Seabin Project, a company set up by surfers and former boat-builders, Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski.

The pair launched the company in 2015 with the ultimate goal of “having pollution-free oceans for our future generations”. The first Seabin prototype was launched in Mallorca, Spain, in 2016.

The project’s founders say the bins can hold around 20 kilograms of waste and can collect an estimated 1.5 kilograms of floating waste per day, totalling up to 500 kilograms each year.

The bins can catch items ranging from plastic bottles and shopping bags, through to cigarette butts and microplastics that are ” as small as 2 millimetres” in size, the founders say. An “oil pad” also allows the bins to skim oil off the top of the water.

The bins work by sucking water in with a “submersible” pump, which is connected to a power outlet and run by electricity. The water passes through a “catch bag filter” which traps rubbish in the bin, before releasing the clean water back out.

Seabins have been launched in harbours around the world. Image courtesy of the Seabin Project.

Seabins are made of materials including high-density polyethylene (HDPE), a thermoplastic.

They are designed to be placed in “debris problem areas” where a lot of waste gathers, in locations such as marinas, yacht clubs and other areas with water-borne pollution.

The Seabin Project, which has worked on a “50% profit, 50% not-for-profit business model” since 2015, has recently launched the Seabin Foundation charity, which focuses on “education, research and innovation projects that result in cleaner oceans”.

Seabins have been set up in a number of locations around the world.

What a Seabin looks like. Image courtesy of the Seabin Project.
Hide Comments (1)Show Comments (1)
  • Amy February 7, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    What do you think of them costing £3,000?

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