This Australian invention by two surfers automatically sucks rubbish from the ocean

Seabin creators Pete Ceglinski (left) Andrew Turton. Image: From Youtube clip.
  • The Seabin, an Australian invention, works independently to clean the ocean of debris, including small plastics.
  • Each floating rubbish can scoops up half a tonne of debris a year, operating on just $1 of electricity a day.
  • Pre-orders total about $12.5 million before commercial sales begin.

An Australian invention, Seabin, which automatically scrubs floating rubbish from the ocean, already has pre-orders of 2500 from around the world.

At around $5000 each, that equates to $12.5 million before commercial sales begin. Each Seabin works independently, floating up and down with the tide, cleaning rubbish from the water 24 hours a day.

Water is sucked in from the surface, with a submersible water pump, and passes through a catch bag inside the Seabin. The water is then pushed back into the ocean leaving debris in the catch bag which has a 20 kg capacity.

The target market is marinas, ports yacht clubs, all enclosed ocean areas where Seabin can capture everything floating including oil, paper, plastics, and detergent. A microfibre filter is in development.

Seabin was founded by two Australian surfers, Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski, supported by a seed investment by Australian marine technology development company Shark Mitigation Systems, now renamed and an ASX-listed company, Smart Marine Systems.

Turton is an Australian boat builder and sailor who conceived the Seabin concept after numerous sailing trips around the world and witnessing the amount of pollution in marinas.

“The majority of my childhood was always in the water,” he says. “There’s nothing worse than being out there and being surrounded by plastic.”

The Seabin collected an average if 1 kilogram of debris per hour when tested at Sydney’s Darling Harbour last week.

Watch a mini Seabin in action at TEDxSydney:

Ceglinski, now CEO of Seabin, is an industrial designer.

“I was a product designer in another life,” he says.

“It was my job to make plastic products and after a while I realised we didn’t need to stuff we were making and so I stopped. I met Andrew and he told me about this project and it just clicked.

“For me, the project was amazing. We could have a better time at the beach because we were not swimming in plastic and pollution anymore.

“The good thing about the location of the Seabin is that people can see what we’re catching, what they are swimming in”

In January 2016, the pair raised $267,567 USD in crowd funding to build prototypes. They are currently on version 5.

Seabin. Image The Seabin project

In its latest quarterly report to the ASX, Smart Marine Systems says the level of interest in Seabins from around the world continues to be strong.

“The March quarter saw the first official delivery and installation of commercial Seabins in Europe,” says the company.

Smart Marine Systems says it is currently building the manufacturing and distribution capacity to cater for the significant demand and orders received from a brief pre-sales campaign which resulted in more than 2500 commitments.

The Seabin, which is fixed to a stable point such as a jetty, has a capacity to automatically scoop up half a tonne of debris a year, including 90,00 plastic bags, using just $1 a day in electricity to power to suction pump.

Here’s what you’ll find inside the design of a Seabin:

Source: The Seabin Project

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