If you haven’t heard about the Seabin project and the amazing fundraising Corner Bar did in conjunction with the Islander Magazine and the amazing PYC community, with the backing of local businesses, then I can only assume you have been on a never-ending crossing.
A few months back Susi of Corner Bar fame was listening to yet another conversation about the state of the marinas and the ocean, and the lamenting that nothing was being done about it. It was, so to speak, the straw that broke the camel’s back. Rather than sitting and complaining and then going about her daily routine, Susi decided enough was enough and whirled into action.
She had been hearing lots of stories about the Sea Bin project pioneered by Pete and Andrew and started to do some research. Discovering that both had been based here in Palma on the yachts before family life took them back home, and that they had launched an incredible project that had so far been backed by crowd-funding, she decided that it seemed like the perfect project, so she got in touch and a plan swiftly came into action.
Now yacht crew and the local community have never been shy in coming forward and this time was no exception. Over fifty prizes were donated ranging from courses, to Michelin starred meals, to SUP sessions, and your very own day on a yacht. They were worth thousands and in turn you guys raised thousands through the raffle and the donation page. €4,000 in fact!!! Before moving on, everyone involved wants to say a massive THANK YOU to each and every one of you who helped make this a reality!! As a small anecdote, when chatting to Pete, he said that his colleague here in Palma had told him of the success of the night and how there had been an incredible turnout of over 80 people. We quickly had to point out that that was a definite typo as nearly 800 of you joined in on the night at Corner Bar to support a cause close to all our hearts. To say he was shell-shocked was an understatement. But considering their video has over a billion views and he receives close to a million emails a week, I’m surprised numbers can still shock him.
Now fast-forward a couple of months and the guys had worked around the clock to get our Seabins ready for launch, one in RCNP and the second in Club de Mar. It was with palpable excitement that the pair announced that they would be accompanying their precious cargo to personally thank all of those involved.
And so it was we found ourselves on a beautiful Autumn day, stood at the marina in Club de Mar listening to Pete talk about the project and what clearly is his passion. They had actually installed the first Seabin into RCNP the previous day so that they would be able to demonstrate first-hand what it was capable of removing from the marinas. As we stood listening, Dave was picking through the detritus collected over the twelve hour period, and we could see plastic bottles, cans, cups, crisp packets, cigarette butts, polystyrene balls and microplastics, so so much microplastic. There were also a lot of leaves but as Dave demonstrated the leaves themselves acted as a net for the microplastics so it is still useful to capture them as they were covered in the stuff.
Each Seabin collects an average of 4 kilos per day, though one had actually drawn 45 kilos out in one sitting. There are now 350 units in the water in 60 marinas and the target is to have 500 by the end of the year. What Pete has said is most interesting about the project is that it has become so much more than a device for cleaning marinas, it has become a communication tool. It is obvious to see that the world is beginning to wake up to the problem, but education is still needed and Club de Mar will be running a school program teaching local children that it’s about turning of the tap of waste that is coming into our oceans off, before they even reach devices like the Seabin. In fact Seabin are now working alongside global governments to set the benchmark for micro-plastic data collection in order to work on a solution.
I asked Susi for any final words and she wanted to reiterate that whilst Corner Bar was the instigator it was really the yachting community and local business who came together, alongside the Seabin team who subsidised the second bin as they were so blown away and humbled by all the support from you. Now it’s time to look to the marinas, to encourage them to invest in the cleaning of their waters. If we all stand together we can make a difference!