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Australian entrepreneurs invents new technology to capture plastic floating debris in oceans

11,900 plastic bottles, that's how many the Seabin can 'catch' per year. 'If we have waste bins on land, then why don't we have any in the water?' ever thought of Australian boat building-surfing duo Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski. So they got to work on product design, launched a crowd funding campaign and, since 2016, have set up numerous plastic-eating bins in Bermuda, the USA, Spain, Finland, Montenegro and France.

The V5 Seabin is a floating debris capture device designed to be installed in bodies of water such as marinas, yacht clubs and ports.

Basically, the unit works by pumping water from the surface, which then passes through a catch bag inside the Seabin. The special bin can capture around 1.5kg of floating debris every day - including micro plastics as small as 2mm - depending on the weather and debris volumes. The submersible water pump is capable of transferring 25,000 liters per hour while the Seabin can store up to 20kg. By positioning the bin near plastic hotspots, winds and currents push the debris directly to the Seabin, explain Turton and Ceglinski.

Requirements for success are said to be a 'calm' environment and availability of local waste collection services. Young entrepreneurs noted that, 'Between 15 and 50 billion pieces of micro plastics and 1.4 trillion micro fiber particles, weighing from 93 000 to 236 000 tons, can be found in the marine environment and pretty much everywhere you look,'.

They are currently discussing of installing the Seabin technology in all 64 of the Safe Harbor marinas across the USA. Last summer, the Seabin team was one of 10 finalists to secure funding from a Booking.com accelerator programme, receiving Euro 350 000 (US$ 420 000) plus a people’s choice award of Euro 10,000 (US$ 12 000).

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