One of the growing problems on our oceans is the proliferation of garbage floating on the surface, plaguing not only shorelines but also forming into large patches of debris in the open ocean. This impacts not only aquatic wildlife, but also people that enjoy the water, including a pair of Australian surfers, Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski. The duo got fed up swimming through trash-filled water, and devised a device that filters that garbage out of the water.
Their invention, dubbed ‘Seabin’, is a cylindrical device about the size of a public trash can that floats just below the surface of the water. A water pump draws water over the lip of the Seabin, and through a filter bag that catches any garbage, oil, and other debris that is drawn into the device. The Seabin itself is made from recycled materials, with the filter’s mesh being made from natural fibers. "It essentially works as a similar concept to a skimmer box from your pool filter. But it’s designed on a scale to work and essentially attract all that rubbish within a location within a marine harbor," explains Turton.
Turton and Ceglinski have since set up an R&D workshop in Spain, to develop production techniques for the device. They intend for the Seabin to be used at marinas and ports, since those are locations where human activity causes high levels of pollution. In addition to this, the company also has broader ambitions for helping the environment. "There’s not only the pollution side, but (it’s) for the broader environment, and then extending that through marinas into education for local communities as well, so that one day we can drive towards a cleaner environment for everyone that’s using the water," says Seabin spokesperson Richard Talmage.