Innovate for 2016 – The Seabin project collects trash where man and water meet

The Seabin picks up plastic trash floating on the ocean's surface where it collects - in the harbors and marinas, river docks - any place that water and humans meet.


WASHINGTON, Dec. 26, 2015 – When you walk around your block or hike, do you stop and pick up trash? The Seabin project is designed along that idea.

It will not clean the oceans of all trash, but it will clean up your marina or cove of the trash that floats on the waves, collecting around the docks as if magnetized to the structures, before the tides take it back out, and send it to the bottom of the sea, river or lake.

The reality is that the casual trash that flies off of boats or is dropped off the side of docks — the areas where people and water most often meet — is creating an environmental calamity that could kill our oceans and ourselves.

As a scuba diver, I know the trash floating around where man and water meet is plenty. There are always plastic bags and worse floating in the water. That trash ends up on the bottom of the ocean or, worse, inside the fish we eat and the other sea life, killing everything from turtles to seabirds to larger mammals and fish like dolphins and sharks that cannot digest plastic bags, bottles and rings from six-packs.effect-of-plastic-on-sea-life

The Great Pacific garbage patch or the Pacific trash vortex, is a gyre of marine debris found in the North Pacific Ocean located roughly between 135°W to 155°W and 35°N and 42°N (source: Wikipedia).

The patch extends over an indeterminate area, with estimates ranging very widely depending on the degree of plastic concentration used to define the affected area.

The plastics that collect are pelagic plastics, chemical sludge and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre.

North_Pacific_Gyre_World_MapSeabin will not rid the oceans of all the trash that we so foolishly drop into the oceans — which in my personal opinion is a larger indisputable threat than “global warming”  — but it will safely collect the trash that falls off of boats or blows into the ocean from the shore.

And wouldn’t it be nice if everyone just picked up the trash they see — from land and sea — to clean our waters and protect not only our aquatic life, but our lives. as these long-lasting plastics end up in the stomachs of marine animals, and their young. including sea turtles and the black-footed albatross.

Midway Atoll receives substantial amounts of marine debris from the North Pacific Gyre. Of the 1.5 million Laysan albatrosses that inhabit Midway, nearly all are found to have plastic in their digestive system.  

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

Approximately one-third of their chicks die, and many of those deaths are due to being fed plastic from their parents.  Twenty tons of plastic debris wash up on Midway every year, with five tons of that debris being fed to albatross chicks.  (source: Wikipedia)

Besides the particles’ danger to wildlife, on the microscopic level the floating debris can absorb organic pollutants from seawater, including PCBs, DDT, and PAHs.  Aside from toxic effects, when ingested, some of these are mistaken by the endocrine system as estradiol, causing hormone disruption in the affected animal.  These toxin-containing plastic pieces are also eaten by jellyfish, which are then eaten by larger fish.

Many of these fish are then consumed by humans, resulting in their ingestion of toxic chemicals (source: Wikipedia).

The Seabin project, via IndieGoGo, is collecting money to further the design and production of its sea trash bins designed for floating docks, marinas, private pontoons, inland waterways, residential lakes, harbors, water ways, ports and yacht clubs — anywhere trash and natural water meet.  The Sea Bin can even be fitted to work with your super yachts and motor yachts!

At this time, the team behind the Seabin has working prototypes, but they are seeking the  help of Indiegogo and supporters to set up a production of the Seabins to be built in the most sustainable and responsible way we can afford.
Sea Bin working diagram
Seabin working diagram

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