“Plastics, like diamonds, are forever! Every piece of plastic ever produced still exists.”
The Tutukaka Marina SeaBin was officially launched on 29th April 2019 and has been busily collecting floating debris and surface fuel oil ever since.
The bin is regularly emptied by volunteers who sort the debris, collate the results and send the data to SeaBin International.
The sorting process involves removing the net bag from the SeaBin, emptying it onto one of Mitre 10’s sponsored tarpaulins and separating the organic from the inorganic debris. Any marine creatures who’ve been drawn into the bag, are carefully placed in one of the seven Mitre 10 orange buckets with sea water in it, and returned to the marina together with any marine biomass. Any terrestrial biomass is composted on land.
All human generated rubbish is sorted into categories as outlined by the SeaBin Project. Micro-plastics are regularly captured in the bin and range from flakes of toxic paint to plastic nurdles and unidentified blobs. A micro-plastic is any piece measuring less than 5mm. The SeaBin Project https://seabinproject.com/ is building an important data base from debris collected in its 719 SeaBins around the world.
The process is very fiddly and requiries a certain amount of concentration! Some of the micro-plastics are really tiny and in this case small is definitely not beautiful. Micro-plastics are entering the oceanic food chain at an alarming rate and because of their size, removing them from the ocean is an impossible task. Large pieces of plastic photo-degrade in sunlight eventually becoming plastic dust that contaminates all ocean dwellers from zoo plankton to whales.
Thank you Mitre 10 Whangarei for contributing to plastic removal from the ocean.