Seabin is a marine garbage collector that filters plastic out of the harbour basin. An added benefit is that it helps bremenports to promote environmental education. In future, further projects will be carried out in cooperation with school pupils from Bremerhaven to raise awareness of the problem of plastic in the sea.

Reducing plastic, raising awareness

Anyone who doesn’t know Seabin has to look twice. Because at first glance, the grey device that has been floating in the water at Bremerhaven’s Überseehafen and at Bückingstrasse since March 2021 looks a bit like a lobster pot. It is, however, a marine litterbin that fishes plastic out of the harbour basin, or to be more precise: macro and microplastics, i.e. small plastic particles that pollute our ecosystem. Seabin is attached to a pontoon and floats on the surface of the water where it sucks in water and filters plastic particles with a size of two millimetres or more. bremenports has installed a second Seabin at Bückingstrasse at Fischereihafen in cooperation with the RelyOnNutec company and Bremerhaven Economic Development Company bis. The Seabins are emptied daily. The “Seabin” was designed by the Australians Pete Ceglinksi and Andrew Turton. Around 860 Seabins are in operation worldwide.

[Translate to English:] Collage: Arbeiten mit der Seabin

Tons of plastic

The problem is serious. According to the Federal Environment Agency, there are already an estimated 140 to 190 million tons of garbage in the sea and up to another 10 million tons are added every year. The ⁠UN⁠ environment programme ⁠UNEP⁠ estimates that an average of 13,000 particles of plastic waste are to be found on every square kilometre of the sea surface.

Tracking down waste

Each of the two Seabins that are in use in Bremerhaven can remove up to four kilograms of plastic out of the water every day. In relation to the total quantity of plastic in the sea, this may seem only a minor contribution. But this project involves more than simply filtering out plastic waste. We wish to raise awareness and show that even small-scale projects can make a difference. School pupils from Bremerhaven launched a project that won them a prize in the regional round of ‘Jugend forscht’, a contest for young scientists. The pupils analysed the individual waste components and the sources that polluted the port waters with plastic. The project is to be continued in cooperation with other schools to help track down even more plastic.