Watch: First solar-powered seabin installed in Spinola Bay

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Plastic is the most prevalent type of marine debris found in the sea, however a local company has recently installed a solar powered seabin in Spinola bay, St Julian’s, as part of its corporate and social responsibility. A seabin is an automated rubbish bin that collects floating rubbish, oil, fuel and detergents.

The initiative was undertaken by local company ProHealth, together with Strand Marine and environmental NGO Żibel.

Newsbook.com.mt caught up with John Jaccarini, one of the directors and founders of ProHealth and Matthew Travers, director at Strand Marine.

Jaccarini observed that despite there being a number of seabins installed around the islands, this was the first one to be solar powered. ProHealth has prioritized the protection of the natural environment and looked into taking steps to mitigate its impact on the environment. The local company took internal initiatives such as installing LED light in its offices, however it moved on to purchase and finance a seabin which is powered by solar energy.

The seabin collects trash that is floating in the sea. Water is drawn in from the surface and passes through a catch bag inside. A submersible water pump then pumps water back into the sea, leaving litter and debris trapped inside. The seabin can collect macro and micro plastics as well as micro fibres. The bin is cleaned every two days, and from the collection, data can be gathered on what can be found in our seas.

Travers told Newsbook.com.mt that annually around a tonne of rubbish is collected in each seabin that is installed around Malta. He added that among the rubbish collected, cigarette butts and plastic are the most common. Travers underlined that seabins collect microplastics, a type of plastic which is impossible to get rid of, as it does not decompose.

Travers explained that the seabin is an Australian invention, however the one in Malta was designed locally.

ProHealth director did not exclude the installation of more seabins, meanwhile he hopes that other companies are inspired and take steps in order to protect the environment. Jaccarini explained that the company has health and the environment at heart since it was established.

Metsola commends the initiative

Partit Nazzjonalista head of delegation and MEP Roberta Metsola commended the joint initiative. She added that she hopes she will see such initiatives around the island.

“Now let’s make Malta and Gozo Europe’s first single-use plastic free islands,” the MEP said.

Fantastic to see Europe’s first solar-powered Sea Bin operational in St Julian’s, collecting maritime litter. Well done…

Posted by Roberta Metsola on Thursday, August 8, 2019

Travers said that in total there will be ten seabins, some of which have already been installed while others will be ready within two months. He added that those interested in helping in such initiatives can donate to the crowdfunding project which was specifically set up.