The UK's first Seabin, which is capable of collecting half a tonne of plastic bottles a year, has been installed at the Land Rover BAR pontoon at Old Portsmouth

The UK has now got its first Seabin.

The revolutionary device collects floating debris and micro plastics down to 2mm in diameter, and has the capability to collect 83,000 plastic shopping bags or 20,000 plastic bottles per year.

It has been installed on the Land Rover BAR pontoon in Old Portsmouth, and is expected to remove half a tonne of debris from the waters around The Camber each year, as-well as removing pollutants such as oils and detergents.

The British America’s Cup team have partnered with Seabin Pty to launch the automated rubbish collection device.

Land Rover BAR was one of the early supporters during the initial Crowdfunding campaign that made the Seabin project possible and the UK’s model is also the world’s first commercial unit to be installed.

The team are passionate about protecting their seas and reducing their environmental footprint.

They’ve worked with exclusive sustainably partner, 11th Hour Racing, partners and suppliers to try and make their operations are as green as possible.

Among the initiatives is a project to help nurture the local oyster population which is in decline, with 1,000 oysters being grown in protected cages underneath the Land Rover BAR dock.

A Seabin on a pontoon

Ready for installation. Credit: Harry Kh

The team’s headquarters is also carbon neutral: the building was constructed using cutting-edge methods, fabric and technologies. It is powered by 432 solar photovoltaic panels, which generate 130MWh a year providing all the electricity required for the base.

The sail-like façade, created from transparent PTFE fabric stretched around a polished concrete base, is designed to be backlit at night and aids towards the building’s energy efficiency.

Jo Grindley from Land Rover BAR said the collaboration with Seabin Pty forms part of the team’s on-going drive to become “the most sustainable sports team in the world”.

“The ocean is our playground and when opportunities come along to partner with exciting and innovative projects, such as the Seabin, we are really keen to support and work together to help improve the health of the oceans,” noted Grindley.

A man and a woman next to a Seabin

Seabin co-founder, Pete Ceglinski & Land Rover BAR sustainability manager, Amy Munro. Credit: Harry Kh

According to figures from Land Rover BAR, it’s estimated that the volume of plastic leaking into the sea is approximately eight million metric tons a year – with only 9% being recycled.

Less than 20% of this originates from ocean-based sources like fisheries and fishing vessels.

This means that over 80% of ocean plastic comes from land-based sources; once plastic is discarded, if processing or recycling is not well managed, it ends up in the sea, highlighting how essential it is to reduce/reuse/recycle and eliminate single use plastics to start with.

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Pete Ceglinski, CEO and co-founder of Seabin Pty, said he hopes the device will inspire the next generation to reduce the use of plastic.

“The team at Seabin acknowledge that the real solution to ocean plastics and littering is not technology, but education, science, research,” he explained.

“The innovative Seabin project is also a tool to inspire and engage the next generation, with the ultimate goal to live in the world without the need for Seabins,” added Ceglinski.

Local school children were also invited to attend the launch of the Seabin, as part of Land Rover BAR’s educational programme run by the 1851 Trust.

children dressed in blue around a table listening to a teacher

Children from Gomer Primary School learn more about the Seabin. Credit: Harry Kh

17 young students from Gomer and Westbourne Primary Schools in Hampshire took part in an interactive BT STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) crew lesson, focusing on ocean health.

The Seabin was used to demonstrate a tangible solution and student were challenged to create their own innovative concepts.

MDL Marinas, which installed the Land Rover BAR pontoon system, are supportive of the team’s sustainability practices.

MDL’s commercial director, Dean Smith, said: “After designing and installing the Solent Oyster refuge equipment we’re delighted to be helping with the installation of the Seabin.”

“MDL is always striving to support new initiatives that remove pollutants in our waters and protect the local ecosystem. The SeaBin is a fantastic idea, and proven to do the job!” added Smith.