Jeff McKay showing how small pieces of plastic can often be overlooked but are a big danger to marine animals and fish. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

B.C.’s first anti-plastic and oil pollution device arrives on Vancouver Island

Seabin device part of North Saanich Oak Bay Marine Group trial, with promising results so far

Oak Bay Marine Group have installed the first Seabin anti-pollution unit in British Columbia, at North Saanich Marina.

Attracting admiring comments from boaters, but largely ignored by the seals, the unassuming Seabin sits largely submerged in the water, quietly sucking in debris.

ALSO READ: Shaw Centre releases 70 salmon and a giant octopus back into the sea

The device is essentially a filter and circular bin that collects floating debris, garbage along with micro and macro-plastics at marinas and ports. The four-foot-by-two-foot devices are designed to catch 3.9 kilograms of floating items per day, collecting 1.4 tons per year. In addition to sucking up solid pollutants, it also has oil-absorbent pads that soak up oils and detergents.

Four years ago, two Australian surfers set up the company that manufactures the units, and they have slowly grown to the point where Seabins are now used across the world in marinas and yacht clubs. Oak Bay Marine Group kept tabs on their progress and when it became viable to purchase one, did so for around $7,000. This unit is now fixed to the dock nearest the gang-walk at North Saanich Marina and they are monitoring it to see its efficacy. If the trial goes well, they plan to install Seabins in all of their Canadian marinas.

Oak Bay Marine Group chief operating officer Brook Castelsky says the organization’s watchword is “sustainability” and initiatives like this inform their future planning.

ALSO READ: Scientists warn warmer and more acidic oceans threaten marine life

“We are very excited to have the Seabin at our marinas and see it in action. Having respect for our oceans is important to our employees and our customers,” he said. “Although the Seabin is only a small part of Oak Bay Marine Group’s environmental sustainability action plan, we feel that even the small steps we take today will lead to a healthier ocean tomorrow.”

Director of operations Jeff McKay and general manger of North Saanich Marina Shawn Kosmuk showed Peninsula News how the Seabin works. They said that usually it fills up over the course of the day but has been emptied more recently as workers are excited with the new gizmo and want to see what it collects. They describe the trial as going well and the Seabin is operating as expected, collecting a variety of things, especially pop bottles, plastic bags and small chunks of plastic.

ALSO READ: Free kids’ nature walks offer crabs, marine beasties and Canada’s largest marine snail

Seabins work well in marinas as the rising and falling tides often push debris towards the shore where they are located. They can then be easily emptied and maintained.

For more information on Seabin products visit seabinproject.com. To learn more about Oak Bay Marine Group go to their website at obmg.com.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

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Jeff McKay (left), director of operations, and Shawn Kosmuk general manager of North Saanich Marina. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

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