An ocean vacuum that sucks rubbish and diesel from the water has been launched at a north Dublin harbour.
The floating seabin collects rubbish from the water, including micro-plastics and oil.
Marine biologist Rowan Byrne helped launch the new device at Howth Harbour after he raised €4,500 through crowd funding.
The Howth seabin, which is around a metre in depth, sits under the surface of the water.
Harbour Master at Howth, Harold McLoughlin, and other workers at the harbour will empty the bin’s rubbish every day.
Mr Byrne said: “I have been active in these waters around Howth since I was a child and I noticed the build up of plastic in these beautiful waters over the years – as indeed is the case all around the world.
“This is a scandal and is having a massive impact on wildlife, including our rare and protected species.
“This seabin in Howth will not solve the plastic problems of the world, but it will help in raising awareness and will over time remove a lot of plastic from the local harbour.”
The seabin will be powered, maintained and emptied by the Howth Harbour authorities.
Great atmosphere at the launch of the first Seabin for Howth Harbour - a fantastic environmental initiative.August 21, 2019
Mr McLoughlin said: “Everyone knows just how important the sea and the marine life in this area is to us.
“We hope this seabin will have a big impact on the amount of rubbish floating around in the local area.”
Rowan said that as a marine biologist, he can see the impact plastic waste has on the marine environment.
He added: “It was fitted last week and has been in operation since and we have already seen a difference as the water is getting clearer.
“The seabin targets the plastic that floats on the water surface and anything that floats by will drop straight into it including single use plastic, small bottles and the absorbent pad collects oil or diesel.
“It helps improve the water quality and helps oxygenate the water.”
- Press Association