Los Angeles

Surfer Unveils New Tool to Help Clean Up Beaches, Harbors in SoCal

The Seabin is like a pool skimmer, acting like a trash can for big bodies of water.

What to Know

  • The Seabin works like a pool skimmer, and will clear 3 tons of plastic and trash per year.
  • The device costs $5,000 to build and install and $1.60 a day to operate.
  • More Seabins will be installed in Ventura and San Francisco later this month.

A surfer from Australia has come up with a brilliant new plan for helping clean up our precious oceans — the Seabin, a device that works like a pool skimmer to clean up the muck and trash found along our coasts.

Placed in more than 40 countries, the device made its debut in Southern California on Thursday.

"If you can imagine two trash cans put together with a pump at the bottom and we skim the surface of the water and it falls in," said Pete Ceglinksi, who cofounded it. "We have a filter inside where it captures plastic bags, bottles, and microplastics."

Individual marinas and nonprofits pay for the devices, which costs $5,000 to build and install, and cost $1.60 a day to operate.

"If the individuals operating the marinas can't fund it on their own, we should figure out as a community which strategic locations could make the biggest impact," said Marina Harbor Anchorage Manager Bryan Plant.

Yacht captain Bryan Barlow said the device is much needed in Marina del Rey where he sometimes has to steer this 96-foot yacht around piles of garbage.

After a rain, he said "it's as if a dump truck came and dumped trash in it's so thick," Barlow said.

A Seabin was placed in oily water at a private dock in Long Beach earlier this week, and one day later the oil and debris was no longer visible.

More Seabins will be installed in Ventura and San Francisco later this month.

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