Garbage eating ‘Seabin’ goes on patrol in Cayman

Pete Ceglinski, co-founder of the Seabin Project, demonstrates the floating trash can that is capable of scooping garbage from the ocean’s surface, at the Cayman Islands Yacht Club Tuesday. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

Imagine a bin that collects trash for you.

The “Seabin” – capable of scooping half a ton of garbage from the water per year – went on patrol at the Cayman Islands Yacht Club Tuesday.

Built to mop up everything that floats, from plastic bottles and paper to spilled oil or fuel, the contraption is described by designers as a floating rubbish bin.

The Cayman Islands is one of eight countries where the invention is being piloted as part of a project to reduce the amount of plastic and other trash in the ocean.

The device is fitted with a pump that creates a flow of water that sucks floating rubbish toward it and into a fiber bag.

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It can be used in marinas and yacht clubs where conditions are relatively serene.

Pete Ceglinski, managing director and co-founder of the Seabin Project, said he hoped the invention could be part of a worldwide solution for cleaner oceans.

Butterfield Bank has partnered with the project founders to bring the Seabin to Cayman.

Michael McWatt, managing director of Butterfield in Cayman, said clean, healthy oceans were imperative to the island economies in which the bank operates, and it wanted to do its part to protect them. The project also includes an educational component.

Pete Ceglinski, left, demonstrates how the Seabin works during a launch event at the Cayman Islands Yacht Club Tuesday. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

Nonprofit Plastic Free Cayman and the Cayman International School are on board to help deliver education and awareness programs on ocean technology and the problem of pollution in the marine environment.

Matt Bishop, chief operating officer of Active Capital which manages the Cayman Islands Yacht Club, said he had first seen the Seabin as a viral Facebook video and was honored to now see it in operation at the yacht club.

“It is great to see the Cayman Islands Yacht Club is the first to have it and we hope to see it replicated across the islands,” he said.

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