This story originally featured on www.gq.com.au. The GQ Accelerate content series created by GQ in partnership with Audi.
11 April, 2019
... if we have rubbish bins on land why can’t we have them in the water?
Nominee and winner of the 2018 GQ Innovation award, presented by Audi, Pete Ceglinski is a 40-year-old guy from Byron Bay who has an ocker accent to rival that of the late, great Steve Irwin. Another thing he has in common with the legend is his determination to look after the natural world that surrounds us.
“You have this healthy respect for the ocean and it’s a big thing for us,” Ceglinski explains to GQ. “If you think about it, it’s our source of life.”
Co-founder of environmentally conscious company Seabin, his idea - formed with fellow boat builder Andrew Turton - consisted of capturing plastic bags, cigarette butts, bottles and other pieces of debris that clog our oceans every day.
“The whole way this Seabin project started was that there was a problem, the problem was ocean plastics and marine litter, and there was no real efficient or effective way of getting out the small stuff - it was always there.”
With this in mind, the pair created a floating debris interception device to be installed in the water of marinas or any water body with a calm environment.
“My business partner Andrew, he’s the inventor, had the idea that if we have rubbish bins on land why can’t we have them in the water? We both got together and put the Seabin in the water and started to filter out this debris.”
Yet with only $2000 left in the bank, Ceglinski’s idea of cleaning up the world’s oceans, marinas and ports, with a portable seabin, was in danger of going under before it had surfaced.
“We found out pretty quickly that life savings get sucked up in a big project, so we decided we should set up a Crowdfunding campaign… we made the target, we made the goal and we’re here now, and that was our initial seed capital to get this thing going.”
The Seabin Project raised $362,000 thanks to support and interest from international publications, TV news channels and viral websites such as Now This, Bored Panda and the BBC. And Ceglinski has no plans to slow down now.
“If you asked me if I think people are waking up I’d say yeah for sure because you’ve only got to look around when you’re at the supermarket and you might see a tradesman come in and he’s got his reusable shopping bag, or you go to a coffee shop and people are bringing in their reusable cups. These are all signs of change and it’s awesome.”
For more from the GQ Accelerate series:
The Seabin Project raised $362,000 thanks to support and interest from international publications, TV news channels and viral websites
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