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Seabin mission accomplished

Eastland Port has taken delivery of its second Seabin, thanks to the fundraising efforts of Gisborne woman Melissa Henry.

In 2019 Melissa set up a Givealittle page to raise funds for a Seabin after learning about the innovative invention online.

Her motivation for the project came after seeing litter in the ocean while out on a boat with her father.

With help from the community, Melissa raised $7000 to buy a Seabin.

“At times, $7000 proved a big target but my dad (Barry Henry) passed away a year after we started the project, so I was determined to reach the goal,” she said.

“My dad was just as passionate about getting a Seabin installed, even offering to pay for it himself.

“However, I wanted to make it a community effort in hopes of raising awareness about litter in the marina,” she said.

“I hope the Seabin makes people question why we need it to begin with — to act as something of a wake-up call,” Ms Henry said.

“If there's one thing people can take away from this, it would be to aim to be a conscious consumer and make small changes in your day-to-day life.

“The easiest way to do so is by simply not consuming the product to begin with — especially plastic products.

“If you can't, then choose products in glass or tin. They require much less of a process to recycle.

“In a peer-reviewed article by National Geographic, scientists evaluated out of 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic produced, 6.3 billion tonnes has become waste.

“Of that, only 9 percent has been recycled. The rest is accumulating in landfills or entering the natural environment as litter.

“This essentially means at some point much of it ends up in the ocean — the final sink.”

Eastland Port is responsible for the management and maintenance of the Gisborne inner harbour and marina.

The port team worked with Melissa to instal and maintain the new Seabin, in addition to a second Seabin funded by Eastland Port, that is also operational in the marina.

Eastland Port commercial manager Hayden Green said the port was supportive of Melissa's project.

“It's very satisfying to empty the catch bag and see everything it has removed from the marina,” he said.

“As well as improving the marine environment, the Seabin is also an engaging and hands-on education tool.

“Working with Enviroschools, we have emptied it with local school children to demonstrate the importance of disposing of rubbish correctly and the negative impacts marine rubbish has on the environment.

“We are delighted Melissa made this happen.

“It has been great to see the community getting involved in the project and contribute to the fundraising efforts.”

■ A Seabin is a floating bin with a submersible pump that filters water to collect up to 20 kilograms of rubbish, petroleum-based surface oils, detergents and micro plastics down to 2mm small.

Each Seabin can catch an estimated 1.4 tonnes of debris per year.

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 litres of water an hour.

The unit is plugged directly into an electricity outlet located on a nearby pier.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: Melissa Henry's goal of getting a seabin installed in the Gisborne Marina has bee completed. After fundraising $7000 over a year long period, the seabin has been installed at Pier 2 in the Marina. Picture by Paul Rickard
CLEAN THE OCEAN: Jacob Goodyer, acting marina manager looks after the two Seabins installed in the Gisborne Marina. Inset, Melissa Henry, whose mission of raising $7000 for a Seabin has been accomplished. Picture by Liam Clayton
LITTER FREE OCEANS: The Seabin picks up the rubbish we can't. Picture by Liam Clayton