I am excited to learn that Singapore is the first Asian city to be a part of the Seabin Project (S'pore gets floating rubbish bin to clean up the seas; April 11).
Based on the 2016 data collated by the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore, an astounding 12,772kg of trash was collected over a two-month period. This reveals the worrying scale and severity of the marine litter problem around our coastlines.
Beyond our borders, research has also shown that there will likely be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.
Contamination at this scale will severely disrupt the habitats of marine organisms. Furthermore, when fish that consumeplastic are served as dishes on our tables, our health would be affected as well.
Therefore, action has to be taken sooner rather than later to prevent the issue of marine litter from escalating further.
The introduction of the seabins signals Singapore's efforts in taking active steps to clean up the marine litter around us.
While the results may be limited by the number and capacity of the seabins, a more important role of this project is to provide a platform for education.
I am really looking forward to future coverage and reports on the litter collected by the seabins.
This could further inform us on the amount and types of litter around our shores.
Such information plays a significant role in educating the public, as the issue of marine litter is often neglected due to an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality.
Getting the public interested in this project could possibly generate greater calls for action.
While it will definitely take more than our nation's efforts to clean up the oceans, it is heartening to know that we are at the forefront of this movement.
I am hopeful that we can continue to play an active role in clean-up efforts as the Seabin Project scales up in the future.
Sebastian Poh Yi Jie