‘Seabin’ to begin collecting plastic in Howth harbour

‘Seabin’ to begin collecting plastic in Howth harbour
Howth Harbour. Picture: Steve Edge/ Geographie

The country’s latest floating plastic collector (or ‘seabin’) is to be installed in Howth harbour, on the north Dublin coastline, this week.

Marine biologist and Howth resident Rowan Byrne raised money through a crowd-funding campaign to purchase the device, which can collect up to 20 kilos of water-borne debris, including microplastics.

The ‘seabin’ is one of 79 installed around the world to a design by two Australian surfers, Pete Ceglinski and Andrew Turton.

Dun Laoghaire harbour’s seabin was installed last year, following a campaign led by young environmentalist Flossie Donnelly, and further devices are being purchased for the Down and Antrim coastlines in the north-east.

The ‘Seabin V5’ catches an average of 1.5kg of debris a day, although designed for up to 20kg, according to Mr Byrne.

He calculated an annual catch of up to 90,000 carrier bags, 11,900 one-litre plastic bottles or 50,000 500ml plastic bottles, 35,700 disposable coffee cups, 117,000 plastic utensils, along with plastic containers, oil, cigarette butts, micro-plastics, and microfibres.

“Ideally, we should turn off the ‘plastic tap,’ as production and over-consumption leads to more pollution,” he said. “Marinas and ports are the perfect place to start helping clean our oceans,” he added, due to the relatively controlled environment.”

Predominant wind and current directions in harbours make for more consistently polluted areas, where seabins can be installed to collect floating rubbish.

Sea-water is sucked in from the surface with a submersible pump, which is capable of displacing 25,000 litres per hour and this passes through a catch bag inside, Mr Byrne said.

“The water is then pumped back out, leaving the litter and debris trapped inside, until it can be disposed of properly,” he said.

Mr Byrne’s employer, Mott MacDonald, has supported its installation, along with Howth harbourmaster, Harold McLoughlin, and Howth Tidy Towns committee. He has also secured approval from the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine.

Howth harbour office will maintain the device, after it is switched on next Wednesday.


More in this Section

Pair held on charges connected to killingPair held on charges connected to killing

Varadkar condemns ‘cowardly and brutal’ attack on Quinn executive Kevin Lunney Varadkar condemns ‘cowardly and brutal’ attack on Quinn executive Kevin Lunney

From dust to dustbin ... Urn containing human ashes found at Navan recycling centreFrom dust to dustbin ... Urn containing human ashes found at Navan recycling centre

'Irish citizenship through birth or descent' the most visited document on Citizens Information website'Irish citizenship through birth or descent' the most visited document on Citizens Information website


Lifestyle

Audrey's been sorting out Cork people for ages.Ask Audrey: C’mere, what’s the story with Chris O’Dowd thinking he’s better than Cork people

So, I put a link to a short story up for my students the other day. The story was by Michael Morpurgo and I was delighted to find an online copy. It can be challenging when you are relying on non-paper texts to teach.Secret diary of an Irish teacher: I love physical books and always will

Celebrated actress Siobhán McSweeney may have found fame starring in a TV series set at the other end of the country, but Cork is never far from her thoughts, writes Ciara McDonnellHome is where the art is for Derry Girls actress

There are literally hundreds of free events on offer this evening for kids and adults on Culture Night. Marjorie Brennan selects the best of them, in Cork and beyondCulture Night: Get out and make the most of it

More From The Irish Examiner