Singapore gets floating rubbish bin to clean up the seas

Left: Seabin Project chief executive Pete Ceglinski installing a seabin at the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club in West Coast yesterday. Above: The seabin can catch about 1.5kg of debris and litter a day, as well as microplastics. It can also collect
Seabin Project chief executive Pete Ceglinski installing a seabin at the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club in West Coast yesterday.ST PHOTOS: NG SOR LUAN
Left: Seabin Project chief executive Pete Ceglinski installing a seabin at the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club in West Coast yesterday. Above: The seabin can catch about 1.5kg of debris and litter a day, as well as microplastics. It can also collect
The seabin can catch about 1.5kg of debris and litter a day, as well as microplastics. It can also collect oils and pollutants floating on the water.ST PHOTOS: NG SOR LUAN

A floating rubbish bin that can collect trash in the sea has been deployed in Singapore waters.

The "seabin" was installed at the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club in West Coast yesterday - making it the first seabin deployed in Asia.

In all, the seabin has been installed in about 16 countries, including Finland and the United States, with the first one deployed in British waters last October.

Finnish marine technology firm Wartsila, which has been involved in the Seabin Project since last year, is donating these bins to different marinas around the world.

The Seabin Project is an Australian clean tech start-up firm that sells these seabins, with an aim to clean up the oceans of the world.

Seabin Project chief executive Pete Ceglinski said: "Singapore is a leader in environmental sustainability, with a blueprint and a vision for a liveable and sustainable country.

"Early on, the correlation between a healthy environment and the quality of life was recognised here, which is why this garden city is the first in Asia to install a seabin."

The seabin is about 50cm across and weighs about 47kg. It can be placed in waters in marinas, docks, yacht clubs and commercial ports, and positioned where the wind and the current can push debris into it.

Water is sucked from the surface and passes through a bag inside the seabin, which has a submersible water pump that can use clean energy sources like solar power. The water is then pumped out, leaving litter and debris trapped in the bag.

The seabin can catch about 1.5kg of debris and litter a day, depending on the weather and debris volume. It can also catch microplastics that are about 2mm.

The bag can hold up to 20kg of debris, and needs to be emptied twice a day. The seabin, which costs about $5,000, can also collect oils and pollutants floating on the water.

Wartsila plans to install two more seabins in Singapore.

Wartsila Singapore managing director Mervin Ong said: "Our purpose is to enable sustainable societies with smart technology. This includes cooperating with like-minded individuals and companies, like Pete Ceglinski and the Seabin Project, to develop and implement new environmental technology."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 11, 2018, with the headline 'S'pore gets floating rubbish bin to clean up the seas'. Print Edition | Subscribe