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Defence uses Seabin technology to help clean Sydney Harbour

Seabin Project CEO and Co-founder, Mr Pete Ceglinski (left) shows Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment (centre) and CEO of Veolia Australia Richard Kirkman (right) rubbish caught by a Seabin at Garden Island Defence Precinct, Sydney, New South Wales. Photo: Defence

Trials of new Seabin Smart Technology at Defence sites in Sydney Harbour have seen the removal of 2,920kg of plastic, fuels and detergents from Harbour waters in the past 12 months and plans are now underway to expand the technology.

The Seabin trial has been removing 140kg of waste per week, including one item of plastic on average every 40 seconds. Minister for Defence Industry and Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price said the Defence trial had exceeded all expectations and that three permanent units would be maintained at Garden Island.

“Over a two-week period, the Seabins captured 6,198 items of waste from Sydney Harbour, including 3,500 microfibres and microplastics, and 2,000 unidentifiable pieces of plastic waste,” she said. “This is Australian technology which costs as little as $1 a day to run and which can have huge dividends for the environment.”

“We have made waste and recycling a national priority and it is one that requires us all to get involved,” said Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley. “The Remade in Australia recycling campaign is an important reminder of the role consumers can play as we transform the nation’s recycling capacity and take responsibility for our waste.

“Industry is certainly stepping up at the same time and innovative technology like the Seabin is another important example.”



Plastic items collected over a two-week period:

Category Count
Microfibres (plastic fibres derived from rope) 1937
Microplastics <5mm (incl. pellets, nurdles) 1779
Unidentified plastic items – soft >5mm 1021
Unidentified plastic items – hard >5mm 728
Foam pieces 293
Soft plastic food packaging/wrappers 135
Fishing line 101
Cigarette butts 34
Plastic straws 33
Plastic lids 31
Hard plastic food packaging (cups etc.) 23
Plastic bags 23
Plastic bottles 14
Ropes 12
Plastic lollipop/cotton bud sticks 9
Tape 9
Rubber 9
Plastic utensils 2
Tennis ball/toy ball 2
Face mask/gloves 2
Fishing gear (floats, lures etc.) 1
TOTAL 6198















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