The technology group Wärtsilä's project to bring floating rubbish bins to Finland is making progress. The project is being executed in honour of Finland's centenary. The Seabin floating rubbish bin donated by Wärtsilä to the city of Turku was installed for test use in Turku guest harbour on the Aurajoki river today. The installation was part of the Tall Ships Race event. The City of Turku Public Utility Property Management and the Turku guest harbour will be responsible for the operation and upkeep of the Seabin in Turku. The Seabin in Turku is the first one located on a river, and the Seabin Project is looking forward to the results from this test use. Now collecting oil for special "oil absorbers" will be tested, the oil absorbers will be installed in sea buckthorn bags.
“Wärtsilä is taking responsibility for the future of the marine environment and has invested in developing environmental technology for the marine industry. Wärtsilä has a long history in Turku, and we are pleased to get the opportunity to test the Seabin here as well. However, it should also be kept in mind that every one of us can do our bit for the cleanliness of the marine environment,” says Atte Palomäki, Executive Vice President, Communications and Branding at Wärtsilä and member of the Management Board.
Pete Ceglinski from the Seabin Project says: "The team at Seabin Project is extremely proud to see the simple, yet innovative Seabin technology being rolled out through Finland by our pilot partner Wärtsilä. This year is an extremely important period for Seabin to develop strategic partnerships with key partners in order to further develop the technology with a real time return of user experience. Working together with industrial leaders like Wärtsilä and forward thinking countries such as Finland is the real way forwards in the fight against the global issue of ocean plastics."
“The City of Turku welcomes the floating rubbish bin. We are interested to see the results from its operation. Turku works hard for a cleaner environment, and a floating rubbish bin is therefore a great fit for our city. The emptying of the Turku Seabin and data collection will be organised in collaboration with Turku University of Applied Sciences. A group of students will be doing the work in practice. This is a great opportunity to participate in practical environmental work for the students as well,” says Saara Malila, Director of Communications, City of Turku.
Wärtsilä has collaborated with the Keep the Archipelago Tidy Association by supporting its operations and coastal cleanliness since 2009. In 2017, the collaboration and support will be weighted towards the beach clean-up work promoted by the Clean Beach campaign. Aija Kaski, Secretary General: “In addition to concrete waste management, we want to influence attitudes on many levels. The Clean Beach campaign, also supported by Wärtsilä, has been one way to increase awareness of littering and also encourage people to participate. Ever since 2011, we have been collecting data on the type and amount of litter found on the beaches we study around Finland. This year, we also published the first Finnish nonfiction book on marine littering, and next week we will investigate the amount of rubbish in the Aurajoki river.”
During the partnership programme, Wärtsilä has already donated two floating rubbish bins to the City of Helsinki and the Port of Helsinki. The Seabin installed in Uunisaari in May has been relocated close to the pier of the Sirpalesaari boat in Kaivopuisto. The other Seabin has been tested in Allas Sea Pool. By testing and learning lessons from the pilot versions in Helsinki, new kinds of attachment systems have been developed and installed that suit Finland's local conditions better.
What is the Seabin?
The Seabin Project provides solutions to the problem of littering in seas around the world. The project is approaching the challenge from several angles, with special focuses on education, research and technology.
The Seabin is a floating rubbish bin that is located in the water at marinas, docks, yacht clubs and commercial ports, where it collects all floating rubbish. Water is sucked in from the surface and passes through the catch bag inside the Seabin. The water is then pumped back into the marina leaving litter and debris trapped in the catch bag to be disposed of properly. The Seabin also has the potential to collect some of the oils and pollutants floating on the water surface. The Seabin Project's team currently uses 12-volt submersible water pumps that can utilise alternative and clean energy sources. These may include solar, wave or wind power, depending on the location and available technology.
Wärtsilä will be operating as the Seabin Project's global pilot partner for the next three years. The other six pilot partners are La Grande Motte in Southern France, Porto Montenegro in Montenegro, Port Adriano in Mallorca (Spain), Butterfield in Bermuda, and Safe Harbor Marinas in the United States. Seabin Project launched its new V5 Hybrid model at the end of April. It then began installing prototypes at its pilot partners' sites. For a three-month trial period, the pilot partners will provide information about how the floating rubbish bins have functioned. Seabins are expected to go on commercial sale during the autumn.
Wärtsilä's sustainable environmental initiatives
Wärtsilä is a member of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative and is a signatory to the UN's Global Compact initiative. The company is transforming traditional shipping and energy markets by developing sustainable and renewable solutions that improve the environmental footprint of maritime transport and energy generation.
Wärtsilä offers high technology designed to reduce ship emissions: systems for scrubbing exhaust gases and dual fuel engines, which are primarily designed for liquefied natural gas – a cleaner alternative to diesel and biodiesel. Wärtsilä also designs, delivers and installs technologies designed for processing ballast water, reducing the amount of pollution released into oceans. This is beneficial to marine ecosystems all around the world. Wärtsilä's remote monitoring and equipment monitoring help to optimise ship operations.
Wärtsilä's strong offering has received significant reinforcement in the form of solar energy solutions. Wärtsilä's sustainable innovations help its customers to reduce their carbon emissions. Wärtsilä is the first company to offer large-scale solar hybrid power plants. Hybrid solutions combine solar power farms with Wärtsilä's smart and highly flexible power plant solution. Both units operate in a synchronised manner, cutting the amount of fuel consumed by the engines.
Background to ocean littering
Plastic has an astonishingly large impact on the environment and ecosystems. It is estimated that by 2025, the oceans will contain one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish. It is also estimated that by 2050, the oceans will contain more plastic by weight than fish (source: Ellen Macarthur Foundation, 2016). In the past ten years, more plastic has been produced in the world than in the entire 20th century. Plastic causes more than USD 13 billion of damage to marine ecosystems every year. Animals swallow our waste and become entangled in it. Local marine environments suffer, which decreases fish and shellfish stocks. Shipping and tourism may suffer, as people are exposed to harmful impurities when they inadvertently eat polluted seafood.
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Wärtsilä in brief
Wärtsilä is a global leader in advanced technologies and complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising sustainable innovation and total efficiency, Wärtsilä maximises the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers. In 2016, Wärtsilä's net sales totalled EUR 4.8 billion with approximately 18,000 employees. The company has operations in over 200 locations in more than 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.
Seabin in brief
Seabin and the Seabin Project are a dynamic central player in a relatively new field: macro and micro waste solutions for floating rubbish in the marine environment.
Seabin's team and technology have received worldwide attention, surprising everyone when the startup crowdfunded its capital at the beginning of 2015 and its publicity video was viewed all over the world. Seabin's vision is to eliminate the need for Seabins, and it focuses on the positive effect of technology on the marine environment.
The Seabin Project's slogan is "For cleaner oceans".