First Of-Its-Kind Initiative in Canada Features Two New Seabins and U of T Student-Led Research Program
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TORONTO, Oct. 10, 2019 /CNW/ - Following the success of this summer's Seabin Pilot Program at Toronto's Outer Harbour Marina, PortsToronto today announced the launch of phase two of the project which includes the deployment of two additional Seabins in Toronto's harbour. Secured to a floating dock positioned in the northeast corner of the York Street Slip, the new Seabins are the first to be installed in a North American harbour and can collect litter ranging from larger plastics to microplastics, as small as 2 millimetres, as well as hydrocarbons such as fuel and oil. With the capacity to collect upward of 4 kilograms of debris in one day, filtering as much as 1.4 metric tons of trash per year, the new Seabins are strategically positioned in the slip to enable the wind and currents to push debris in the Seabins' direction.
To ensure that the Seabins also serve a research and education function, PortsToronto has taken the added step of partnering with the University of Toronto Trash Team on a student-research project led by Dr. Chelsea Rochman, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. As part of this collaborative initiative, students from the Rochman Lab will collect and analyze the plastics and microplastics captured by the Seabins to determine the origination of some of these materials. This process will, in turn, better inform the Trash Team's solutions-based research and community outreach program which ultimately seeks to increase waste literacy and prevent plastics and microplastics from entering waterways in the first place.
"Given the success of PortsToronto's Seabin pilot at the Outer Harbour Marina – the first commercial installation in Canada – it made sense to take the program further and deploy additional Seabins within Toronto's inner harbour," said Geoffrey Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, PortsToronto. "At PortsToronto, we recognize that the waste collection facilitated by the Seabins, is just one step toward eliminating harmful materials, such as single-use plastics and microplastics, from our waterways. The next step is learning from this waste in an effort to educate and change behaviour, and that is why we have undertaken a partnership with groups such as the University of Toronto Trash Team, and the broader waterfront community, to keep Toronto's harbour clean."
"In our lab at the University of Toronto, we find large plastic debris and microplastics in our local rivers, in the Toronto Harbour and in Lake Ontario," said Dr. Chelsea Rochman, The University of Toronto Trash Team. "This litter leads to contamination of the local fish and contamination of our drinking water. We established the U of T Trash Team to increase waste literacy in our community and help translate the science to the people that make decisions on our waterfront. Naturally, we partnered with PortsToronto at inception to explore collaborations that bring technologies to our waterfront to capture plastic pollution before it contaminates our lake. Since day one, PortsToronto has been supportive of our mission and we are thrilled to partner with them on this fantastic initiative that will further plastic prevention, research and community outreach."
Findings from phase one of the Seabin Pilot Program indicate that each Seabin at the Outer Harbour Marina typically collects 2 kilograms of litter per day and captured items ranging from floating natural debris to disposable gloves, plastic bottle caps, cigarette butts, Styrofoam pieces, and plastic grocery bags. These bins also trapped microplastics, including industrial plastic pellets.
Seabins were invented in 2014 by Australian surfers who were concerned by the amount of plastic pollution in the ocean. The Seabin works by moving up and down with the natural flow of water, collecting all floating debris. Water is sucked in from the surface and passes through a catch bag inside the Seabin, with a submersible water pump capable of displacing 25.000 LPH (litre per hour), plugged directly into 110/22V outlet. The water is then pumped back into the harbour leaving litter and debris trapped in the catch bag to be disposed of properly.
Poralu Marine manufactures Seabins and Water Products & Solutions is the exclusive supplier in North America.
To read more about PortsToronto's Seabin Pilot Program, visit portstoronto.com.
About PortsToronto (https://www.portstoronto.com)
For more than 100 years PortsToronto has worked with its partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to enhance the economic growth of the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomed 2.8 million passengers in 2018; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada's largest freshwater marinas; and, Marine Terminal 52, which provides transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port of Toronto. PortsToronto is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $11 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto's waterfront and beyond. PortsToronto operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and is guided by a nine-member board with representation from all three levels of government.
About The University of Toronto Trash Team (https://rochmanlab.com/trashteam/)
As the outreach branch of the Rochman Lab, The U of T Trash Team is a team of graduate and undergraduate students who strive to connect people and increase literacy concerning material consumption and waste with fun, creative and practical actions. The U of T Trash Team is committed to science communication, community engagement and supporting solutions to plastic pollution.
About Poralu Marine (www.poralumarine.fr)
Developing unique solutions and products for yachting facilities is PORALU MARINE's core business. Its main skill remains designing, manufacturing and installing the most durable top-of-the-range harbour facilities on seas, oceans, rivers and lakes around the globe. Its 8,000 projects throughout the world are stamped with their seal of innovation, down to the tiniest details. Poralu's very high quality has raised the company to the highest rank of specialists in aluminium structures. The activities of the various brands in the group - Poralu Marine, All Nautica, CEI, Nautiscaphe, Poralu Bridge, Rotax – attest to the constant renewal of the company's offering and their attention to the environment. Poralu Marine is continually innovating, with the recent launch of land bridges, environmentally friendly anchoring solutions, floating waste collectors (Seabin), among other exciting products. Based in Port (01 France - Head Office) and founded in 1982, Poralu Marine has a workforce of 120 and had a consolidated turnover for the financial year 2016/2017 of €26 M, of which 80 % came from abroad.
About Water Products & Solutions
Water Products & Solutions is a leading supplier of environmental technologies for waterways. In April 2019, we launched Seabin, a revolutionary trash skimmer that collects bottles, bags, food wraps, cigarette butts, Styrofoam and micro-plastics as small as 2 mm. On average, Seabin catches 8.5 lbs of debris / day (1.4 tons / year). With over 750 installations throughout the world and millions of views on Youtube, Seabin is a success story! Business Insider also chose it as one of the 10 inventions to save the planet. Our mission goes on, and we are constantly looking for new partners to team up with to develop innovative environmental solutions.
For further information: Media Contacts: Sarah Sutton, Manager, Communications and Government Relations, PortsToronto, Cell: (647) 298-0544, E-mail: [email protected]