Collectively, the ocean covers more than 70 percent of our planet’s surface. The ocean’s ubiquity allows it to exist as one of the earth’s most valuable natural resources.
However, in light of environmental research and the fight against climate change, through excess human waste and consumption, it is becoming an aquatic landfill. The silver lining lies in climate change heroes and inventors, such as Pete Ceglinski, the founder of Seabins.
The V5 Seabin and its Mission
In 2014, Pete began Seabin as a project to reduce marine pollution. The Seabin’s purpose is to collect trash, oil, fuel, and detergents from the ocean’s littered waters.
A multi-award-winning invention, the V5 Seabin is fueled by water pumping and functions as a “trash skimmer” that glides across the water surface and seizes floating debris, plastics, and microfibers. The device is essentially an aquatic trash can, currently collecting litter in Marinas, Yacht Clubs, Ports, and other calm bodies of water.
The invention does not stop at litter collection; a V5 Seabin is also created to sanitize the water that surrounds oceanic leaves, seaweed, or coral. Oil absorbing pads frame the inside of the V5, making the product suitable to gather surface oils and detergents.
A submersible water pump connects to a voltage outlet, in which water is absorbed from the surface, and then processed through a lined bag inside the Seabin. After the water is caught in the bin, it separates the polluted fragments from the ocean water, pumping clean water back into the ocean, and collecting litter in the bin’s catch bag.
Each day, the Seabin has the potential to collect almost four kilograms of floating water pollution. Per year, the V5 Seabin can collect approximately 1.4 tonnes of debris. This is as many as 90,000 plastic shopping bags, 11,900 plastic bottles, 50,000 water bottles, 35,700 disposable cups, and 117,600 plastic utensils.
Made exclusively from recycled materials, the Seabin’s catch bag can hold an estimated 20 kilograms of weight and roughly costs three U.S. dollars a day to operate.
The Seabin’s technical features include a voltage of 110V/220V, a pump flow at 25,000 LPH, high-density polyethylene construction, and moisture resistant, marine grade steel brackets. At 55 kilograms, the invention’s dimensions sit at 500 x 500 mm X 1800 mm, with a six-meter-long electrical cable.
Sustainability and Seabin Complications
The V5’s catch bag is capable of capturing macro and micro marine litter. As an attempt to find the most sustainable product materials, the Seabin team chose a completely recyclable plastic mesh, while also researching how to incorporate recycled, fishing net plastic into the catch bag’s design. Once the catch bag becomes unusable, it is once again recycled, ensuring optimal sustainability.
Seabins are installed to solve problems of polluted marine environments, but there is still the concern of waste extermination post-collection. Seabin’s team is currently crafting a recycling program for Seabin clients. The project tracks captured plastics and certifies that they are circulated, recycled, and reused. These measures will avoid landfill piling and verify the product’s sustainability.
To date, there are over 700 active Seabins, an average of 2,000 kilograms of ocean pollution captured daily, and a close 115,000 kilograms of waste officially gathered.
Marine pollution can wash up on beaches, group together in ocean currents, or be consumed by, and ultimately kill, many species of aquatic life. The contaminated debris are most often directly brought into the ocean from drains, sewers, or other ocean-lead systems.
To tackle debris and automotive oil discharge in oceans, Pete Ceglinski, along with his team, have invented the V5 Seabin to cleanse our oceans of its many polluters, as well as to work towards cultivating a cleaner, more sustainable earth.