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Project: Sea Bin

Cleaning up Sydney Harbour

Floating rubbish bins to clean up Sydney’s waters

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium has installed a permanent Seabin underneath the floating oceanarium to collect garbage floating in the harbour. The SEA LIFE Trust, in partnership with Sydney by Kayak, aims to install another three Seabins in Sydney over the coming year.

Seabins are floating rubbish bins that collect garbage from the sea 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There are currently 23 units dispersed around Sydney’s waterways including one at the aquarium.

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Seabin Collection

Due to the success of the first Seabin at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium in Darling Harbour, which picked up 266kg of marine litter from the harbour in September 2020, the aquarium’s charity arm SEA LIFE Trust has confirmed it will donate additional funds to the Seabin Project for more units to be installed in the coming year.

“It’s the generosity of our guests that enables us to continue supporting the Seabin Project and the clean-up of marine litter from our oceans. With a commitment to continue to invest in additional Seabins yearly, we hope to see the number of debris captured increase by at least 1.8 tonnes every year,” said Ashley Hayes, SEA LIFE Trust Responsibility Manager.

“Seabins are a great example of an Australian innovation having tangible benefit to the environment. Through the Seabin installed at the aquarium we have been able to see the massive amount of debris that is entering our precious waterways daily. While each bin can remove hundreds of kilos of waste every year there is still so much more that needs to be done to change public attitudes to waste and recycling and the Seabins are helping us tell that story,” said Rob Townsend, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Displays Curator.

“We love the Seabin at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium because it’s one of the hardest working Seabins and it’s having a massive impact on reducing the rubbish in the water. We’re excited to continue our relationship with SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and see where we can place future Seabins,” said Tom Batrouney, The Seabin Project Environmental Technician and Community Advocate.  

The latest Seabin report found that the unit at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium caught 266kg of marine litter in September – an average of 16kg per day which is four times the global average. Plastics and other rubbish made up 80 percent of collections including foam pieces (37 percent), unidentified hard and soft plastics (30 percent), plastic lids (seven percent) and chocolate/food wrappers (six percent).

In total, Seabin units around Sydney filter 4.3 billion litres of water and capture more than 28 tonnes of marine litter over a year. This can include microplastics, oil, plastic fibres and more recently, medical waste.

For more information about the Seabin Project, visit

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