Sellafield supports Whitehaven Harbour Marine Waste Project

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A youth-led eco project is set to see Whitehaven's harbour become mainland Europe’s largest Seabin site.

Whitehaven Harbour Youth Project has already secured the installation of 6 of the ocean-cleaning Seabins and last week they installed the 7th, with the help of Sellafield's Social Impact Strategy.

Several young people from the youth project had identified the need to address the issue of litter entering the marina in Whitehaven Harbour.

During their research they identified a product called a Seabin which could help to tackle the issue and they successfully raised funding to purchase one and install it into Whitehaven Marina back in 2019.

The Seabin is a large bucket shaped device containing a mesh net and oil filters which attaches to a pontoon in a marina and gently draws water through an opening in the top and out of the bottom in a way which poses no threat to marine life.

They run 24 hours a day and each bin is capable of capturing around 20kg before needing to be emptied.

Each Seabin can capture an estimated 1.5 tonnes of debris per year depending on weather and debris volumes which would mean up to 10.5 tonnes of debris being removed from Whitehaven harbour instead of flowing out to sea.

Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners and Whitehaven Marina calculated that a total of 7 Seabins situated near the main pollution sources (the culverts) would make significant difference in reducing floating debris and oil/diesel pollution and approached the Sellafield Ltd Social Impact Multiplied (SiX) team for support.

SiX provided £93,500 of funding which leveraged nearly £11,500 of additional funding and in-kind support from Whitehaven Marina to install a further 6 Seabins.

In addition, over 400 young people from local schools and youth groups have taken part in the education programme which takes the young people out into the marina on canoes so they can see first-hand the issues pollution is causing in the harbour.

This is followed up with further sessions examining the waste recovered from the Seabins, learning about the impact on marine life and understanding how their actions can make a big difference in preventing waste from entering the water through reducing, reusing, and recycling.

About Sellafield Ltd - Social Impact Strategy
The social impact (SiX) strategy contains Sellafield's vision, objectives and outcomes linked to the Sellafield Ltd Enterprise Strategy, to provide communities and taxpayers with a socio-economic growth return on their investment at Sellafield.

Publication Date
25th July
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