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Seabin Project

Seabin is a floating rubbish bin that can be in the water at any marinas or ports to collect rubbish from the seas.

Photo of Anshu
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Seabin is a floating rubbish bin that can be in the water at any marinas or ports to collect rubbish from the seas. Water from the surface is sucked in and the rubbish is caught in the catch bag inside the seabin and the water pumped back into the marina. Powered by 12 volts submersible water pumps, seabin also has option of using alternative power sources, like solar, wave or wind power. 

How does this research relate to our Use Cases?

Whenever rubbish is not recycled, ends up in the oceans. Fishes are eating plastics that are ending up in our tummies. So it is important to look into various methods of cleaning our oceans. This correlates with both case studies that rubbish when not disposed properly ends up in the ocean.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

This project is very inspiring and pushes us to think beyond our own capabilities. This video would help in inspiring people to reduce the use of plastic

Tell us about yourself

I am a Sydney resident who came across this project and got inspired to post it here.


Join the conversation:

Photo of OpenIDEO

Hi Anshu!
There are 3 days left in the ideas phase of the circular design challenge! It would be great to see your ideas there, submit your idea via -

Photo of Steve

Hi Anshu
An interesting idea.....
So a small boat could travel from harbour to harbour carrying a fleet of these seabins.
They could be released to float around the harbour for a few days and get collected at the end of the visit.
The harbour would levy a charge on users and visitors to cover the cost of the cleanup service.
A light on the top of each bin would aid collection of the units.
The same light could change colour when the bin was full, allowing them to be emptied.
Sounds promising!

Photo of Anshu

HI Steve, yes great idea. Changing lights are a good way of reducing human pressures of checking on it every now and then. It will also prevent the overflowing rubbish to go back into the sea.

Photo of Smita Bhatnagar

It is an execellent idea, but I think that Prevetion is better than cure. So we should find ways to replace plastic altogether, by going back to glass, clay, recycled paper for packaging for daily use. Nonetheless, this definitely will help clean the ocean and seems to be an rffective first step in this direction.

Photo of Anshu

Totally agree Smita that we have to learn from our ancestors and try using products that are more sustainable for the environment. There is a huge range of clay utensils that are becoming available in the market.

Photo of aditi

Innovative product! More should be developed on similar lines... Although I agree prevention is better than cure!

Photo of Anshu

Agree Aditi. There is nothing better than prevention but Seabins can at least help clean some of the mess that has already been done.

Photo of Linda Caste

There is an exstensive research on how BPA ends up in our bodies when we eat fish because fish eat plastic and it is very scary to think about it. This is a good idea, but I believe that it will have just a small impact on the problem because of the size of it. However, the good point is that together with the effort to reduce the use of plastic it is important to eliminate the plastic that is already on our oceans and landfills and treated as waste.

However, I have a question: how can you be sure that this mechanism does not damage marine life?

Photo of Anshu

Hi Linda,
I agree with you that this is just a small initiative and will have a small impact on reducing plastic from the oceans. But, such small initiatives are going to help us clean the earth of plastic.
You have mentioned your concern about marine life getting damaged. I personally think (although I am not aware of the mechanical power of this machine) that it should be safe for marine life for two reasons. Firstly, it is at the surface of the water level near the walls of marina or ports and secondly, the seabin did not seem to be sucking marine life as it was moving rather slowly to attract the rubbish.
I am not an expert in this field but from the videos that I have seen and the materials that I have read, this seems to be safe for the marine life.
If you have any information that would help educate us, please let us know.