Author: Laura Chalk
Every year, millions of tonnes of plastic clog the earth’s oceans. Not only does this plastic kill marine life, it breaks down into minute particles that infiltrate the food chain of plankton, whales, and all the species in between.
Appalled at this massive problem, Australian surfer Pete Ceglinski decided to tackle the problem head on by designing a bin. Not just any bin though - one that bobs in the ocean like a buoy, sucking surrounding rubbish in, filtering the water through a gauze where it is then released back into the ocean. The rubbish is trapped in the bin where it can be collected and disposed of on shore.
The process from dream to reality has been one of fits and starts. Ceglinski didn’t want to accept donations from companies who contributed to the problem of plastic on one hand, while assuaging their guilt by funding an eco-start up on the other. So as an alternative, he started a crowdfunding campaign.
Initially the interest and donations were scant. Gradually though, momentum built and soon the responses grew to hundreds, and then thousands. Ceglinski replied to every offer with a personal text message of thanks.
Seabin also piqued the interest of marinas and ports around the world to pilot the system in their water ways once it has been manufactured. Ceglinski works hard to honour their support as he continues to make the contraption in his workshop.
The problem of plastic in our oceans is a startling one, with predictions* (source) that the oceans could soon hold a kilo of plastic for every three kilos of fish. Awareness and conversation around the subject is building, however, and with that awareness, the inspiration for innovative and creative solutions, such as the Seabin.
Many groups and individuals around the planet seek to collect rubbish from waterways and beaches, with clean-up groups, small and larger scale initiatives using word of mouth, hands on approaches, as well as leveraging social media, apps and other technologies to remedy the growing problem.
What is needed in addition to these initiatives is to stem the flow of plastic reaching the ocean, and landfill, in general. A combined effort from plastic manufacturers, retailers and consumers is nothing short of what’s necessary to curb this murky trend.
Ceglinski’s hope for the Seabin is that it will not only work towards cleaning waterways, but will increase this process of awareness, conversation and action around this growing and potentially devastating problem. For actions that you can take right away, see below.
• Pick up rubbish when you see it and dispose of it correctly – recycling where possible. For information on what can be recycled, visit: recyclingnearyou.com.au.
• Join a beach or river care movement like Take3 or ask your local council or Surf Life Saving Club if there are groups who meet together to collect waste around your local waterways.
• Start a group of your own. As we’ve featured in a previous edition of PEN, we have the likes of Afroz Shah to inspire us, with his massive beach clean-up in India.
Laura joined Planet Ark in 2016. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience having travelled the world and a background in teaching English as a second language among other things.
- The Swedish fitness craze that's good for you and the environment »
- Victorian Government pitches in for councils facing recycling shutdowns »
- Guilt free tea-bags, frozen food and paper drinking straws »
- Planet Ark's flagship recycling info service is getting a makeover »
- Woolcool turns waste wool into insulation wonder »
- An innovative solution to the problem of ocean pollution »
- New South Wales Return and Earn Container Deposit Scheme hits 64 million returns »
- Cleaning up the Cove »
- Vanuatu bans plastic bags and polystyrene containers »
- A global commitment to clean oceans »
- Marine plastic pollution: a personal perspective »
- Plastics inspiration: reasons for hope »
- Planet Ark announced as Donation Partner for NSW Container Deposit Scheme »
- Doing well by doing good: a recipe for sustain-ability »
- Beyond plastic pollution: solutions for a small planet »
- Revolutionary eco-friendly furniture the way of the future »
- Victoria announces plastic bag ban »
- Sunshine Coast sisters launch Australian-first sustainability project »
- What do Smiths, Kathmandu and Jurlique have in common? »
- Hobart City Council going further to phase out plastic »
- Australia is one step closer to being plastic bag free »
- World's largest crop of tequila plant set to fuel green energy in far north Queensland »
- ABC's War on Waste creates unprecedented demand for sustainable coffee cups »
- 81-Year-Old Lebanese woman inspires a nation to recycle »
- Painting a Brighter Environmental Future »
- Shell Recycling - Big Gains From Small Things »
- Wriggly Solution To Plastic Pollution: The Caterpillar That Eats Plastic »
- 'Creature Compost' - Zoo Reduces Landfill and Generates Income »
- The Awful Truth About Nappies & Recycling »
- This South Australian School Has Plans to Eliminate Campus Waste Bins in Seven Years »
- Australia's Biggest E-Waste Processing Plant to Open »
- Is the Supermarket of the Future Plastic Free? »
- These Googly-Eyed Garbage Gobblers Are Cleaning Our Waterways »
- New Technology Turns Beach Plastic into Treasure »
- Tokyo Set to Take Sydney's Green Olympic Medal »
- Unilever Commits to 100% Recyclable Plastic packaging »
- World's Biggest Beach Clean-up »
- Launch of Positive Environment News »