This “Seabin” Sucks In Trash At An Alarming Rate, And Honestly, Same

Its mission in life is literally to suck.

Picture this: a product engineered to suck, quite literally — one that attracts trash of all kinds and draws it into its dark centre. No, it’s not Twitter — it’s the Seabin, and it’s hopefully going to help clean the world’s oceans.

You might remember the Seabin from previous media coverage, including a Foreign Correspondent episode from earlier this year. It’s quite literally a floating bin, designed to sit in marinas around the world and suck in ocean waste (everything from plastic bags to coffee cups) with the aid of a water pump.

Today, the first Seabin to hit the UK was installed in Portsmouth. A few other spots around the world are trialling them, and more will go on sale from November.

The product was designed by two Australian surfers, Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski, who raised over $250,000 on Indiegogo to fund their invention in 2015. Since then, there’s been a tense process of testing and prototyping, all leading to the big day today.


An Extremely Scientific Seabin explainer, courtesy of their Indiegogo funding page.

The final Seabin costs around £3,000, and collects around 1.5kg of waste of waste per day, which works out to around 83,000 plastic bags a year. It can store 12kg of waste before its bag needs to be changed, making it an ideal, low-maintenance way to clean up our oceans. If it works as planned, it will also pose no threat to fish and other marine life, who don’t swim close enough to the surface to be sucked in.

As those of us who personally identify as trash magnets will understand, the Seabin operates best in a “calm environment” (think marinas and quiet bays), so they’re not the total solution to the ocean of trash out there. The hope, though, is that they’ll really suck where it matters — close to home. In this way, the Seabin is all of us. Godspeed, water trash bucket. We’re rooting for you.


Feature image via Seabin’s crowdfunding campaign.