The Mirpuri Foundation was once again leading the charge against plastic pollution, this time by supporting the placing of Portugal’s first ever Seabin into Cascais Harbour.

Foundation President, Paulo Mirpuri, was joined by Pete Ceglinski, the inventor of the Seabin and also founder of the Seabin project, for a brief ceremony at the Cascais Naval Club to mark the ‘launch’ of the ocean-clearing device.

As well as being the first ever Seabin in Portuguese waters, the Cascais device will be the first to be placed as part of the Seabin Share Program – a program designed to help mitigate ocean pollution through the sharing of high-quality data.

All rubbish collected in the bin will be analysed and the findings shared globally with program partners.

Foundation President Paulo said: “This is a wonderful project, and one in which the Foundation is proud to be involved.

“We’d like to welcome Pete, the people from the Seabin project and our other friends and partners to these beautiful waters to thank him for this essentially simple device, which shows how solutions to big problems can be crafted from small but imaginative beginnings.”

As well as an array of VIP guests, the event was attended by local school children who were keen to meet people at the forefront of the fight against the pollution of our oceans. They relished the opportunity to learn about marine responsibility and what they could do to keep the seas clean in the future.

One of the guests was oceanographer, Captain Charles Moore, the man responsible for bringing the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ to public attention. Captain Charles appeared in his famous Captain’s Uniform, fashioned entirely from pieces of plastic plucked from the seas on his many travels.

Representing the Naval Club of Cascais was Vice-President José Sottomayor Matoso. Joana Pinto Balsemão, the Councilor of the Municipality of Cascais, who is well known for her longstanding support of environmental and sustainable development projects was also present.

Also in attendance were Portuguese sailors, Bernardo Freitas and Frederico Melo, who were both recently honoured by Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa for their participation in the iconic Volvo Ocean Race, where both were sailors of the Foundation-sponsored boat ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’ and witnessed first-hand the problems of plastic pollution around the world.

The Seabin itself is literally a floating rubbish bin that sucks debris out of the water at marinas, docks, yacht clubs and commercial ports.

It moves up and down with the tide, collecting all floating material, including oil. Water is sucked in from the surface and passes through a catch-bag inside the bin. Water is then pumped back into the harbour, leaving the litter and debris trapped in the catch-bag to be disposed of properly.

All the rubbish collected at Cascais will be sent on to participating universities for further examination as part of the Seabin Share Program. Each device can hold 20 Kgs of floating debris, and the Cascais device will be emptied up to four times a day.