Do you love the ocean but fear going in due to the pollution?
Two surfers in Australia are trying to change that.
The Seabin Project.
The Seabin is an automated rubbish bin that sucks up ocean debris like a vacuum. Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski created the Seabin with a mission to, well, keep the ocean clean. The Seabin was designed to be used in marinas and harbors, two areas where plastic and other pollutants are often swept out to sea by storms, tides and the wind.
Plastic bottles, paper, oil, fuel, detergents … the bin catches it all.
The idea for the Seabin was a no-brainer for Turton and Ceglinski, who met through boat building for yacht racing teams. Turton has been a sailor and boat builder his whole life and the two have always had a passion for diving, fishing and surfing.
“We both have grown up on the water and have a deep respect for it,” said Ceglinski, who serves as the project’s managing director.
Turton had the idea for the Seabin but wasn’t sure how to take it further. Ceglinski utilized his background as a product designer to help him take that next step.
“I loved the idea that we could do something that would make a positive difference in the world,” Ceglinski added. “Both our life skills combined have produced the Seabin Project.”
Goals for the Seabin Project include:
- To help rid the oceans of plastics and pollution.
- To have production in place by mid to end of 2016 and start shipping.
- To create Seabins from the most sustainable materials and processes available.
- To have the lowest carbon footprint possible in the production of the Seabins by means of alternative materials and processes. Also by reducing shipping and having the Seabins manufactured in the countries of installation.
- To create and support local economies with the production, maintenance and installation of the Seabins worldwide.
- To have future models of Seabins for specific locations.
- To educate people and cultures about being more responsible with the use and disposal of plastics.
- To setup educational programs for students in schools.
- To convert our captured plastics into energy.
- To reuse or recycle our Seabins for other uses and or applications.
- To have pollution-free oceans with no need for the Seabins.
The ultimate goal, according to Ceglinski, is to not have a need for Seabins. But for now, it serves as a valuable source for combating ocean pollution.
“Everyone has been amazing and continues to support us as the project grows,” Ceglinski said.
That includes Poralu Marine, a French industrial global leader of aluminum facilities for marinas.
Turton and Ceglinski recently signed a partnership with Poralu Marine, which includes the development, manufacturing, and worldwide distribution of Seabins by the end of 2016.
“We were so stoked to work with Poralu and have their network and experience behind us,” Ceglinski said.
Although there are many techniques and developing technologies to extract, prevent and intercept plastic pollution, Ceglinski said he’s not sure one is better than the other in the global battle against our littering problem.
“We have kept it simple,” he said, “and one step at a time we will start to go a bit bigger and further from the marinas.”
Turton and Ceglinski aren’t the only ones with big ideas for ocean cleanup, though. From “Down Under” to the States, these organizations are also joining the fight for a healthy ocean.
Environmental Cleanup Coalition
Inspire, educate, raise awareness, serve, and collaborate.
This is the mission of the Environmental Cleanup Coalition, which was started by Rich Sundance Owen in 2008 because as he said, “there was no one taking action on a cleanup effort.”
Owen also founded the Gyre Cleanup Project, a project focused on creating lasting change towards healthier oceans and educating the public on the human health risks of using the oceans as a toxic dump site. Its goals are to have clean, healthy oceans, and for people to have a more sustainable relationship with them.
“The oceans produce 60-80 percent of Earth’s oxygen, you can’t get much more important than that. The toxins we dump in the oceans – plastic is just one – are bio-accumulating up the food chain and having lasting effects on the human race and all sea life. The oceans are in trouble and so are we. I do have faith in the human race’s ability to rise to the challenge.”
Rich Sundance Owen, ECC Founder and Executive Director
To help combat the problem, ECC’s idea is to create an ocean gyre cleanup contest, thereby crowdsourcing the best ideas from around the world.
“A prestigious judging panel of engineering experts and marine biologists will evaluate all ideas and agree on one to fund,” Owen said. “During the publicity for the contest, we will be searching for a philanthropic group or individual to fund the winning idea.”
Save Our Shores
Incorporated as a non-profit marine conservation in 1980 in Santa Cruz, CA, Save Our Shores’ mission is to care for the marine environment through ocean awareness, advocacy, and citizen action.
Over the years, Save Our Shores has been at the forefront of a variety of key accomplishments, including preventing offshore oil drilling in Central Coast waters, helping to establish the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, preventing local cruise ship pollution, and bringing together diverse stakeholders to find common solutions to ocean issues.
That includes plastic products, such as bags and bottles.
“When you bring it full circle and say, ‘Alright, that plastic you just threw on the beach that ended up in the ocean is now in the food chain. If you eat any kind of fish or anything that comes out of the ocean, you’re really ingesting that plastic that you just threw away.’ It usually gets people to understand the importance of it.”
Katherine O’Dea, Save Our Shores’ Executive Director
That is why today Save Our Shores focuses on, among other things, educating youth about tackling plastic pollution on our beaches and rivers.
In honor of World Oceans Day on June 8, Save Our Shores will be having its annual signature fundraising and appreciation event, Jubilee by the Sea. The event is a party on the beach to celebrate the ocean and a summer of clean beaches.
Just as Budget Dumpster celebrated Earth Day and Arbor Day, we too celebrate World Oceans Day. A global day of ocean celebration and open collaboration for a better future. The Seabin Project, ECC, Save Our Shores, and countless volunteers around the world are doing their part. Not just on World Oceans Day, but every day.