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Rubbish bins being left in sea to scoop up surface waste

Measure could collect up to 500kg of waste a year

Sea bins would be deposited in the water at marinas to collect rubbish and oil

Sea bins would be deposited in the water at marinas to collect rubbish and oil

Innovative rubbish bins being deposited in the water could collect up to a kilo and a half of waste from the sea daily, according to an eNGO.

The organisation #Żibel has launched a pilot project with sea bins at the Marina di Valletta in Pieta.

The seabins collect anything from cigarette butts to small plastic bags. They also have the potential to collect part of the oils and pollutants floating on the water surface.

Some of the rubbish trapped in the creek. Photo: Guilherme CoutoSome of the rubbish trapped in the creek. Photo: Guilherme Couto

The seabin moves up and down with the tide, collecting all floating rubbish. Water is sucked in from the surface and passes through a catch bag inside the seabin, with a submersible water pump. The water is then pumped back into the marina, leaving litter and debris trapped in the catch bag to be disposed of properly.

Seabins can collect 500kg of waste a year, costing less than €1 a day, Strand Marine operations director Matthew Travers said.

The pilot project seeks to grow to have over 20 seabins installed in various marinas across the country a year, Mr Travers added.

READ: Plastic pollution found even at extremes of oceans

However, #Żibel co-founder Andrew Schembri warned the seabins alone were not enough to clean up the sea, adding that the important thing was to educate people on water pollution.

Speaking at the pilot project launch at the Marina di Valletta, Environment Minister Jose Herrera said he hoped the project would encourage people to keep marinas clean.

“We need to make it fashionable to take care of the environment,” Dr Herrera said.

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