The Mirpuri Foundation supported the placing of Portugal’s first ever Seabin into Cascais Harbour.

The Seabin is a floating garbage bin placed in marinas, docks, nautical clubs and commercial ports. It moves with the sea swell to collect all garbage floating in waters near to where the structure has been installed. The water inside the bin is pumped back out into the sea and the garbage inside the bin is collected and treated. The equipment also has the potential for collecting a percentage of oils and pollutants floating on the water’s surface.

As well as being the first ever Seabin in Portuguese waters, the Cascais device is 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 is analysed and the findings shared globally with program partners.

The Seabin is also a powerful educational tool since the students at the Clube Naval de Cascais, as well as the students in the municipality can follow the entire waste collection process, witnessing the program’s results firsthand.

Within 24 hours of its implementation the Seabin collected 30 kg of waste, 60% of which were single-use plastics.


The launch of the Seabin (2018):

More about the Seabin launch here.


First data collected (2019):

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 acknowledged that the device’s installation at the Naval Club in Cascais was one of the most challenging undertaken by the project so far, with a 10-metre swell running along the coast. However, Pete said that the Seabin installation can clearly be seen to have been successful.

Pete’s report revealed 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 noted 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 confirmed 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.


Related events:

April 2019 – Workshop at the Cascais Naval Club