It’s barely visible, but a new device is constantly working to clean up the North Saanich Marina.

It’s called a Seabin and it acts as a sort of pool skimmer for the marina, and could collect more than a tonne of debris in a single year.

“We’ve had our eye on it for three years and we’ve finally been able to install one at North Saanich Marina,” said Oak Bay Marine Group's chief operating officer, Brooke Castelsky.

The bin can collect up to 20 kilograms of debris, from plastic bottles all the way down to micro-plastics as small as two milimetres. 

The Seabins retail for about $7,000 each. Two have been purchased for Oak Bay Marina and will be installed in the coming days.

Matthew Miller organizes local beach cleanups as a member of the UVic Surfrider Club and says "anything that we don’t have to pick up on our beach cleanups is a win for us.”

The PhD student in ocean sciences is acutely aware of the threat that micro-plastics present to sea life.

“They can definitely infiltrate the food chain by small organisms eating them. They can make the animal feel full even though they haven’t eaten anything,” he said. 

Castelsky said some marinas deploy as many as six Seabins to cut down on garbage in the water. The device also has an absorbent core that traps and collects surface-based oil products.

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is also aware of the product and says it will be installing a Seabin at Fisherman’s Wharf this fall.

The Seabin was developed by two Australian entrepreneurs and according to the company’s website there are 719 Seabins in use around the world.