'It is essential we all do our part' - Plastic-collecting seabin installed in Portishead marina
PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 June 2019
Efforts to tackle the plague of plastic pollution in Portishead have been bolstered with the introduction of cutting-edge technology.
A seabin which can remove tens of thousands of plastic bottles and bags from the sea each year has been installed in the marina, with the aim of cleaning up the coastline.
The high-tech bin, the first of its kind to be installed in the UK, has been created by Bristol-based firm Whirlpool Corporation, and the business hopes to roll out the innovation around the country.
The bin can catch around 500kg of waste per year, which equates to approximately 90,000 carrier bags and 33,000 500ml plastic bottles.
Microplastics, which are extremely hazardous to marine life, are also collected by the seabin.
Water is sucked into the bin and pumped back into the sea while waste is collected, and the machine can operate non-stop throughout the year with a 'minimum of effort'.
Ian Moverley, of Whirlpool Corporation, said: "This is our first LifeGate PlasticLess Seabin in the UK.
"We chose North Somerset as our first location as we are committed to serving communities where our colleagues work and live.
"Local children have helped to mark the occasion. We introduced the initiative to Portishead Primary School which has a very active plastic waste campaign.
"The school joined us for the launch to see how the seabin worked and how it will benefit them, the surrounding beaches and the local community.
"The school has a very keen team of litter pickers and we are hoping this will contribute to the school's tremendous effort."
Environmentally-friendly initiatives have gathered pace in North Somerset in recent years, particularly following the release of David Attenborough's BBC documentary series Blue Planet 2, which exposed the shocking scale of plastic pollution in waters across the globe.
Volunteer-led groups like Turn The Tide and the Times' Coastlines Campaign, have attracted waves of support from people hoping to rid North Somerset's beaches of pollution.
Mr Moverley added: "It is essential we all do our part, and this is a start and a real solution to engage everyone in an effort to reduce the amount of plastic waste reaching the sea."