Jeff McKay showing how small pieces of plastic can often be overlooked but are a big danger to marine animals and fish. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

B.C.’s first anti-pollution unit installed at Victoria-area marina

Device skims the water’s surface to collect debris, plastics and even oil

The first anti-pollution unit in B.C. has been installed at a marina in outside Victoria.

Oak Bay Marine Group’s Seabin unit sits largely submerged in the water at the North Saanich Marina quietly sucking in debris.

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The device is essentially a filter and circular bin that collect floating debris, garbage, and plastics at marinas and ports.

The four-foot-by-two-foot device is designed to catch 3.9 kilograms of floating items per day, collecting 1.4 tons per year. It also has absorbent pads that soak up oils and detergents.

In 2015, two Australian surfers set up a company to manufacture the units, and it has slowly grown to the point where Seabins are now used across the world in marinas and yacht clubs.

Oak Bay Marine Group kept tabs on their progress and when it became viable to purchase one, did so for around $7,000. They’re monitoring it on a trial basis at the North Saanich Marina to see its efficacy.

ALSO READ: Scientists warn warmer and more acidic oceans threaten marine life

The unit usually fills up over the course of the day, but has been emptied more often recently as curious workers look to see what it collects: pop bottles, plastic bags and small chunks of plastic.

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