EnvironmentEuropeMaritime CEO

PortBin: ‘By 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean’

SpillTech, a new Norwegian company focused on oil spill recovery equipment, is looking to tackle waste pollution issues at ports.

The Sandfjord-based company recently developed PortBin, a contraption to collect waste in ports.

Trond Lindheim, owner of SpillTech, outlines how waste pollution across the world’s ocean is a huge and growing problem.

“Man has hitherto believed that anything that can be hidden in the sea is a problem solved. But especially the impact of the last few generations, with ever increasing waste amounts and materials that do not break down in the same way as before, has caused the problem to accumulate in unsustainable proportions,” says Lindheim.

According to a report by the World Economic Forum, 8m tonnes of plastic is dumped in the sea every year.

“If we continue doing so, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean,” Lindheim warns, adding that the waste could enter and disrupt the food chain globally.

According to Lindheim, SpillTech aims to create a complete toolbox for coastal marine waste and is currently developing a range of tools together with customers who are committed to protecting the marine environment.

“This applies to both seabed solutions, efficient collection from small work boats and autonomous solutions. PortBin is just the first tool,” Lindheim explains.

Lindheim reckons financing is a challenge as is often the case when it comes to developing new clean up technology and capabilities.

“Fortunately, there are more who care. The environment is, generally speaking, on the agenda and some companies look at their environmental profile as a competitive advantage. But for most, the economics probably outweigh environmental interests,” Lindheim says.

Lindheim has seen fewer oil spill accidents in the past few years thanks to better ships, technology, monitoring and regulations.

“Our focus is on developing lightweight equipment that allows for faster and efficient mechanical recovery and clean up. Quick response is essential to minimise the consequences of the spill,” Lindheim says.

SpillTech is also participating in the Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies (NOFO) and the Norwegian Coastal Administration Oil Spill technology programme.

“Our aim is to get more ports to use PortBin to help them collect most of the waste and encourage the adoption of simple, effective cleaning tools that will bring environmental and social benefits and SpillTech is keen to collaborate with Norwegian and international public and private sector organisations and industry partners who can explore further applications of PortBin,” Lindheim concludes.


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