Pete Ceglinski, CEO and co-founder, Seabin Project
Disillusioned by the rising level of plastic waste in the waters off Perth, Pete Ceglinski felt compelled to find a solution. And together with close friend Andrew Turton, they hit upon with a simple idea – a rubbish bin for the water.
Constructed from reclaimed polyethylene ocean debris, the Seabin is an effective model – a floating bin fitted with a five-litre mesh bag attached to a pump which sucks in waste and filters out debris-free water.
Placed in a marina, harbour or any waterway with a calm environment, one seabin has the extraordinary capacity to capture 500 kilos of debris annually including 90,000 shopping bags; 50,000 plastic bottles and 35,000 disposable coffee cups.
Additionally, it can catch cigarette butts, plastic particles and microplastics as little as 2mm in size.
And currently in development, the invention should soon be equipped to trap microfibres.
A successful Crowdfund campaign at the end of 2015 lead to manufacture and distribution operations in Palma, Mallorca. The Seabin was tested in a pilot trial in the waters off French coastal resort, Le Grande Motte on the Cote D'Azur and after a introductory video went viral with over 10 million views, orders flooded in from locations throughout the Mediterranean before spreading to the rest of Europe and North America.
And now with orders tapped for waterways in Sydney and Melbourne, the Seabin is finally coming home.
Armed with an ambitious ten-year plan including developments in scientific research with their not-for-profit Share Programme, Ceglinski ultimately envisions a direct assault on open water pollution with eventual designs on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
And while critics have voiced their reservations, branding the model 'gimmicky', the CEO has shrugged off the naysayers.
"We’re not telling you that the Seabin is going to save the ocean, when it’s not. It’s just going to clean up some of the mess we put in it.”Read more
As Councils and Local Government authorities across Australia consider Waste to Energy as a solution to the current recycling crisis, Boomerang Alliance explains why burning our waste is not the solution to the problem.Read more
27 April 2018: Environment groups described today’s Environment Ministers’ meeting as a ‘work in progress’, with Ministers yet to prove that they have adequately responded to the opportunities created by the loss of Chinese markets for our kerbside recycling.Read more
The growing rush to incinerate recyclable materials in response to the current loss of export markets, is entirely the wrong way to go, the Boomerang Alliance of 47 national, state and local groups said today.Read more
Dear Environment Minister,
There has rarely been a more important meeting of environment ministers when it comes to waste and recycling.
Next Friday 27 April 2018, our State and Federal Environment Ministers will meet to discuss crucial issues, including the introduction of a nationwide ban on microbeads.
From personal care to dental hygiene to household cleaning, microbeads are used in an enormous range of products. They slip through our inadequate waste water filtration infrastructure and end up in the ocean. Once there, they act as a sponge for water-borne toxins and are easily mistaken as a food source by unwitting marine life, potentially adding toxins directly to the human food chain.
What’s more, without a national ban, surplus products containing microbeads that have been rejected by other countries could easily make their way to Australia, as manufacturers try to cut their losses. We can’t afford to let Australia become a potential dumping ground for these billions of pieces of microplastic.
Right now, the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, France, Sweden, Taiwan, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands have or will soon introduce bans on microbeads. Australia has no plans to do the same.
Instead the Commonwealth Government is relying on a voluntary phase out but only a national ban will eliminate the problem once and for all.
We need to put the pressure on. We need to protect marine wildlife, we need to protect the ocean. We need to protect our health.
After just two months, the NSW container deposit scheme is already collecting over 1.5 million containers a day. As the rest of Australia follows suit in coming months, Victoria will soon be the only mainland state without a 10 cents container refund scheme.Read more
After years of relying on China to process our plastic rubbish into something useable, the new Chinese National Sword ban is set to have devastating effects on Australia's waste problem if nothing is done.
The introduction of the comingled waste bin has always been an issue, but in Australia we took the lazy way out – ‘she’ll be right’. In the last few weeks I’ve been to crisis meetings with all stakeholders and the fear is palpable. If China won’t take our plastic waste for recycling because it is contaminated in our bins, what will we do with it? More landfill and incineration? Right now is not time for knee-jerk reactions and the glacial processes for better product stewardship, that have so far characterised waste policy development.Read more
Container Deposit Schemes (CDS) operate or are about to be introduced in most States and Territories in Australia. South Australia has had a scheme in place since 1977, and only two states, Victoria and Tasmania, are yet to introduce a scheme. With Victoria losing the China market for its contaminated recyclate and needing to consider a CDS which produces clean material - will Tasmania be the last State to act?Read more
The Queensland Government has extended the timeframe for the introduction of the state’s container refund scheme from 1 July to 1 November 2018.
The date was changed to respond to stakeholders who were keen to ensure the Queensland scheme leveraged the lessons learned from the rollout of the New South Wales scheme late last year.
The Queensland Government and Container Exchange (CoEx)—which has been appointed by the Queensland Government as the scheme’s Product Responsibility Organisation (PRO)—want it to be the best scheme in Australia.
The delay will allow time for the PRO to get a critical amount of refund points in place, the communications strategy rolled out, and for the community infrastructure grants program to take effect.
CoEx will be governed by a Board of nine directors, made up of beverage industry and independent representation, and including an independent chair.
As the scheme’s PRO, CoEx will work with the government to ensure the scheme is a success, and that it remains efficient and delivers positive outcomes for the public, community groups and the environment.
For more information about the scheme visit the Queensland Government website.
Note: The Plastic Bag Ban remains scheduled for introduction on 1 July 2018.
See the official Qld Government Media Release below:
Industry-backed extension will ensure Container Refund Scheme is right for Queensland
Extending the timeframe for the introduction of the state’s Container Refund Scheme will ensure the scheme is right for Queensland, Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said today.
Originally due to start 1 July this year, the scheme will now commence 1 November 2018.
“It’s important we get the scheme right from day one so that its full community, environmental and recycling benefits are realised,” Ms Enoch said.
“Extending the timeframe for the scheme’s introduction was requested by stakeholders to ensure Queensland did not run into the same roll-out issues experienced in New South Wales when its scheme started 1 December last year.
“While our scheme is not run along the same lines as that in New South Wales, it’s clear there are valuable lessons to be learned from the problematic introduction of their scheme.
“These include ensuring there are enough container refund points from the outset, so people have the ability to get the 10c refund.
“We know Queenslanders want a container refund scheme and we have industry and community support for it. We also recognise it takes time and effort to ensure this is done efficiently and effectively.”
Legislation to extend the start date of the Container Refund Scheme will be introduced into State Parliament tomorrow.
Waste Recycling Industry Association Queensland CEO Rick Ralph said the new timeframe would give industry time to establish the right systems and make investments to ensure the scheme was accessible to all Queenslanders from the beginning.
“Queensland’s complex demographics, coupled with recent changes in terms of markets for recovered products globally, prove the decision is right and important in making the program the very best it can be,” Mr Ralph said.
Ms Enoch said a new not-for-profit company Container Exchange (CoEx) has been appointed as the product responsibility organisation (PRO) to administer and run Queensland’s container refund scheme.
CoEx will be governed by a board of nine directors, made up of beverage industry and independent representation, and will include an independent chair.
As the PRO, CoEx will work with the government to ensure the scheme is a success, and that it remains efficient and delivers positive outcomes for the public, community groups and the environment.
“I am pleased that two of our largest beverage manufacturers – Coca-Cola Amatil and Lion – are involved in CoEx,” Ms Enoch said.
“This is fitting as these entities represent around half of the beverage brands on the Queensland market.
“This approach has the support of environment and community groups, as well as the beverage sector, and will provide balance, transparency and equity in how CoEx and the scheme itself is run.”
Ms Enoch said CoEx was required to ensure an adequate number of container refund points were in place when the scheme started so its benefits would be available across Queensland.
“We’re looking to have more than 200 refund points across Queensland ready to operate by 1 November this year, and CoEx will ensure they are located where as many people as possible in our de-centralised state can access them.
“CoEx has already started this process by putting a request for proposal into the market, seeking interest from individuals and organisations that want to run container refund points.
“CoEx will also work to ensure the scheme’s running costs are minimised, with as small an impact as possible on the beverage industry and the community.
“As we move towards the scheme’s 1 November start date, the public will be kept informed of container refund point locations and other relevant information through public information sessions, industry workshops, media announcements and online content.”
The refund scheme will see most drink containers between 150ml and 3L eligible for a 10 cent refund, although some containers are exempt.
Information on the scheme, including eligible containers, is available via the Queensland Government website.
Interested individuals, community groups and other organisations wanting to receive information on the request for proposal to set up container refund points should register through email@example.com before 5 March 2018.