Seabin prototype V4 with Peter Ceglinski and Andrew Turton.
The Finnish technology group Wärtsilä is joining the Seabin Project to test an innovative floating trash collector. The three-year project stresses education, research and technology as solutions to ocean littering.
Floating bottles and plastic bags are a familiar sight in oceans around the world, but Wärtsilä and the Seabin Project are working together on an inventive solution. Wärtsilä is sponsoring the city and port of Helsinki to trial the Seabin, a floating rubbish container.
Surface water is sucked into the device and passes through a catch bag which filters out litter. It even has the potential to collect some oils and other floating pollutants. The Seabin uses as 12-volt submersible water pump using power from the shore, but future developments are aimed at using solar, wind or wave power.
“The team at Seabin Project are extremely excited to be partnering with Wärtsilä,” says Seabin’s co-founder Peter Ceglinski. “We have done our homework with Wärtsilä and are impressed with the environmental initiatives and responsibility they incorporate into their products and business model. We hope to work with Wärtsilä more in the very near future on improving the Seabin technology.”
A greener future
The programme begins with two prototypes devices attached to docks in Helsinki’s waters. This will help validate the technology as well as provide information about the amount and types of litter and pollutants in the harbours. Four additional Seabins can be installed later once commercial production begins.
“This partnership is important because it will help clean up plastics and other waste in our oceans,” explains Juha Kytölä, Wärtsilä’s vice president of Environmental Solutions. “But it is also important because it helps create awareness about the impact we have. It is up to all of us – each and every individual – to take care of our environment.”
“The partnership with Seabin is part of Wärtsilä Corporation’s Finland 100 year centennial programme. With cleaner sea the company wants to give something back to the country.”
Wärtsilä has made cleaner technology and helping the environment a core business strategy. The company has developed exhaust gas cleaning systems and dual-fuel engines for ships. Other Wärtsilä innovations include clean technology to manage ballast water, optimised fleet management systems to reduce fuel consumption, and solar hybrid power plants.
“We look at wide spheres of activity in the environment and see where we can help create solutions,” says Kytölä. “This is Finland’s 100th anniversary of independence, and we want to help make a more sustainable future for the seas, in Finland and elsewhere.”
Text: David J. Cord