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22 Jan, 2016 08:58

Ingenious ocean-cleaning ‘bin’ from 2 Aussie surfers crowdfunds over $250k (VIDEO)

Ingenious ocean-cleaning ‘bin’ from 2 Aussie surfers crowdfunds over $250k (VIDEO)

An ingenious device for sucking up the millions of tons of ocean waste, invented by two Australian surfers, has already beaten its crowdfunding goal way ahead of schedule. Called the Seabin, it will be placed in harbors to combat floating trash and oil.

Simple ingenuity best describes Andrew Turton’s and Pete Ceglinski's Seabin. The best friends quit their day jobs to invest time in the project, which has already caught the attention of investors everywhere.

They needed to crowdfund AU$50,000 (US$35,000) to start production, but that target has already been met several times over, with $267,000 scored on Indiegogo by January 7, five days ahead of the deadline.

The device is built from recycled materials. Below the water is a pump. Above it, a bucket that connects to the pump, with a trash bag inside. The trash in the water gets filtered out and stored away, and the water that was just sucked in gets re-released.

But what of the little fish that swim nearby? While probably not edible, the creators certainly don’t wish to kill them off.

READ MORE: Ocean-saving bikini? New swimsuit can clean water as you swim

“The question of sea life getting trapped in the Seabins is possible. However in the 4 years of testing our Seabins we haven’t caught anything. They simply stay away from the surface and the current the Seabins produce, much like how fish stay away from the water pump in a home aquarium. If a fish or marine animal makes its way into the Seabin then it will be caught by the natural fibre catch bag which is submersed in water and then simple thrown back into the water when the catch bag is changed by the marina worker,” Ceglinski and Turton wrote on Facebook.

The first prototype was designed in Perth. It was then marketed in Spain’s Mallora, due to the sprawling marinas found there. The pair has also set up a research lab there to improve on design and production.

According to Ceglinski, "The Seabin is more efficient than a marine worker walking around with a scoop net.” But the device also beats using vessels to clear trash, because it’s cheaper.

Shore areas are where most trash accumulates, so they need to be hit hardest. Moreover, the idea is to stop as much of it from floating out to sea and continuing to be a significant threat to marine life. The food chain is already contaminated with toxins from the tons of oil and plastic floating about our oceans.

But as Ceglinski explains, "there's not only the pollution side.” The device will have wider applications, extended “through marinas into education for local communities as well, so that one day we can drive towards a cleaner environment for everyone that's using the water.”

According to the latest update from Turton and Ceglinski, the marinas and ports will be purchasing the Seabins, which will be produced in a green fashion on a variety of continents – instead of China, where it would be cheaper, but less clean. Local production should also boost the local economy, they say.

Ceglinski and Turton have just attended the biggest trades show for the marine industry – METSTRADE, where they made big contacts in the industry, which should help with manufacturing. They are also in contact with a few foreign governments.

If all goes well, we should see the first Seabins grace harbors sometime later in 2016.