The Mirpuri Foundation shares first data from Portugal’s first ever Seabin.

Early data has been collected from the Cascais Seabin, it has been studied and analysed locally, and a report of the team’s findings has been prepared for wider circulation. In his preliminary data analysis and report, Seabin’s Pete Ceglinski acknowledges that the device’s installation at the Naval Club in Cascais last year was one of the most challenging undertaken by the project so far, with a 10-metre swell running along the coast. However, Pete says that the Seabin installation can clearly be seen to have been effected successfully, with over seven months of data ‘in the can’ and with the data for seven of those now having been comprehensively analysed.

Pete’s report reveals that, since its launch in November 2018, the Seabin has had an immediate and positive impact in the corner of the Naval Club where it has been installed which has, in the past, been a natural accumulation point for marine litter.

As regards the data collected over the initial assessment period, the report notes that:

  • The Seabin collected around 10kgs per day of marine litter
  • 50kg of data samples were recorded, of which some 1665 items have been catalogued.
  • Of the catalogued items, 1070 were plastic, 235 were cigarette butts and 245 were food wrappers.

One surprising finding from the Cascais Seabin was the abundance of nylon filaments found, and the rapid rate of their accumulation. These filaments, it transpires, come from fishing nets, and arise because, when fishermen recycle a rope, they cut the netting away and some of the filaments drop to the ground, or into the harbour, before being washed out to sea. Nylon fishing lines and polystyrene balls are being caught in Cascais at a rate never seen before.

The data most recently recorded confirms the initial finding that the amount of debris collected increases significantly after periods of rainfall. The reasons for this are not yet clearly understood, but the finding does seem to be in line with data collected from other Seabins, the analysis of which has been circulated as part of the data-sharing program.

The Seabin itself is, literally, a floating rubbish bin that caughts 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 goes into the device 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.

Back in November, the Mirpuri Foundation President, Paulo Mirpuri, joined 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 was also the first to be placed as part of the ‘Seabin Share Program’ – a program designed to help mitigate ocean pollution by facilitating the sharing of high-quality data among like-minded project participants around the world.

The objective of the data-monitoring program has been to allow a proper assessment to be made of waterway health, to enable patterns of marine litter to be determined and to promote collaborative working between local industries and key stakeholders to bring about cleaner oceans.

The Launch of the The Seabin project at the Clube Naval de Cascais, November 2018:

Seabin Workshop: