The North Somerset MP, Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox visited Whirlpool Corporation’s recently installed Seabin at Portishead Quays Marina on Friday.
The Seabin is part of Whirlpool’s campaign to reduce plastic in the UK’s coastal waters and is in partnership with LifeGate PlasticLess®. The campaign aims to start the roll-out of Seabins across the West Country and the UK. As a proud local employer and owner of the last remaining tumble dryer factory in the UK, at Yate near Bristol, Whirlpool was delighted to invite Dr Fox to view the Seabin and discuss further plans to help keep Somerset’s waters clean and free of plastic.
The Seabin at Portishead Quays Marina is designed to collect and store a variety of plastic waste, from bottles to microfibres as tiny as 0.3 mm. A Seabin can catch around 1.5 kg of waste per day, which equates to over 500 kg per year. This means that the Seabin can collect around 90,000 plastic bags and 16,500 one litre, plastic bottles or 33,000, 0.5 litre bottles each year.
At Whirlpool Corporation’s Yate facility, which employs 250 people, they have been zero waste to landfill since 2015, and for over nine years the site has been using reusable mugs in the vending machines. Furthermore, the company’s headquarters in Peterborough has committed to the eradication of single-use plastic, providing staff with metal water bottles, which is calculated to save 160,000 single-use cups going to landfill annually. In addition, compostable cups for hot drinks have been introduced, at the company’s canteen, saving over 200,000 cups going to landfill each year.
Ian Moverley, UK Public Affairs Director, Whirlpool Corporation explained: “I was delighted to welcome Dr Fox to view the Seabin and discuss Whirlpool’s environmental efforts in north Somerset. As a proud local employer with over a hundred years of manufacturing in the region, we are grateful for Dr Fox’s support and hope to work with him to introduce more Seabins to the local area.”
Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox said: “It has been fantastic to visit Whirlpool’s Seabin here at Portishead and learn how they are leading the charge to reduce plastics in our coastal waters. I’m pleased that a local employer with manufacturing roots in the region are taking it upon themselves to help protect our beautiful natural environment in Somerset. I look forward to working with Whirlpool on more environmental initiatives in the years to come and commend them on their efforts.”
The Seabin’s waste is collected in a bag, which stores up to 20 kg of waste. The marina water is sucked through the Seabin, and is then pumped back into the sea. It can operate around twenty four hours a day on an annual basis, while making an effective change to the cleanliness of the sea in the local area.