GLOBAL SEABINS

Tutukaka Marina (w/ Ocean Spirit),
New Zealand

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The Tutukaka Marina SeaBin has now been in operation for two years! First turned on on 29th April 2019 on a rainy day!

Initially the rubbish collected was disposed of, but for the past year it has been collected in separate labelled containers and used for educational display purposes.

It has steadily removed human-generated rubbish that finds its way into the marina, which in turn means less pollution for the ocean to deal with. Data sheets are used to record the amount of rubbish collected in a variety of different categories, such as: cigarette butts; plastic food wrappers; clear plastic packaging; foam pieces; fishing gear; plastic bottles etc.

The most notable items it has removed so far are 1468 pieces of unidentified plastic and 517 cigarette butts.

From the very beginning, a team of Huanui College students from their Interact Club have been consistently assisting Te Wairua O Te Moananui-Ocean Spirit volunteers to sort the rubbish collected, categorise and log the results onto spreadsheets.

Being in the SeaBin Team has enabled them to get signed off on the community / environmental aspect for their Duke of Edinburgh Award. It has also inspired award winning Science Fair Projects. It provides an opportunity to develop leadership skills and build a sense of responsibility; as well as inspiring positive changes to lifestyles and behaviour.

Ngunguru Primary School students have also benefited from the SeaBin. Their Earth Education group – Kete Aronui – visited the SeaBin in action and then participated in sorting the rubbish collected, under the guidance and leadership of the Huanui College team. Years 5 & 6 enjoyed an educational morning analysing all the past year’s collections!

Te Wairua O Te Moanaui – Ocean Spirit has displayed the collections on the Tutukaka Coast at the Matapouri Gala, Tutukaka Twilight Markets and Ngunguru Gala. Having a stand with all the debris on disply works as an educational tool – showing the quantities and types of rubbish that are appearing on our coast, with the intention being to inspire positive behaviour changes.

As we all know, the Seabin is not the solution to human-generated marine debris – we are! But this sort of information shows us where the majority of the rubbish is coming from and gives us the evidence we need to make the practical changes necessary to minimise rubbish polluting the marina and ultimately the ocean.

Plastic is a killer!

It’s well known that every plastic item ever manufactured is still in existence – albeit in a very degraded and broken down state. Plastic is effectively a serial killer – mistaken by marine life for ‘food’, it kills its victim and once released from the decomposing body it floats off freely towards its next victim.

As a coastal community we are on the front line of this worldwide catastrophe. But the good news is that each one of us is in a powerful position to take responsibility for this issue.

Unsung Heroes

There are many unsung heroes who walk our beaches everyday picking up rubbish, but our coast road is still left littered with rubbish unthinkingly chucked from cars. Swept by heavy rain and picked up by strong winds it can too easily find its way into the ocean.

Tutukaka Marina are continually working on practical solutions to minimize ocean pollution eg in the form of rubbish and recycling bins, but they require all of us to take more responsibility for disposing of our rubbish and reducing our pervasive use of single-use plastic. Let’s all make a concerted effort this busy summer season to reduce our own plastic footprint and enjoy a clean coastline!

The Tutukaka Coast Community owes many thanks to the Tutukaka Marina Trust Board, Whangarei City Rotary Club, Huanui College (in particular the Interact Club), Mitre 10 and Te Wairua O Te Moananui – Ocean Spirit for their contribution towards keeping our beautiful coast less polluted in the form of the Seabin.

Please visit the Seabin on B pier in Tutukaka Marina and watch it in operation.

Any questions please email: janey@oceanspirit.org