PORT Authority of New South Wales has used a Seabin to remove nearly 200 kilograms of marine litter from Sydney Harbour as part of an employee-led sustainability initiative.

A Seabin is a device designed to capture rubbish from marine environments. PANSW used a single Seabin at Miller’s Point to pull 182 kilograms – including 3570 plastic fragments – out of Sydney Harbour in just two months.

PANSW chief executive officer Philip Holliday said the Seabin has been removing rubbish from the site at an average of 3.2 kilograms each day, which helps protect the environment and marine life.

“Microplastics and microfibres were the most abundant plastic item capture and accounted for 41.3% of the total plastics hauled into the Seabin,” Mr Holliday said.

He said the initiative has proven “highly effective for acting locally while thinking globally”.

“Microplastics are a real challenge for our waterways globally so helping to remove waste floating in and around our own ports is important for port authority,” he said.


PANSW general manager, operations Sydney Sarah Marshall said the initiative was driven by a group of passionate port authority employees who proposed the idea to the executive.

“We have a strong sustainability program in our business and this initiative is fully supported by our workforce, with 50 port officers volunteering to empty the Seabin whilst on day shift and record the weight collected,” Ms Marshall said.

“The harbour is our office and this is a an effective way of cleaning the waters on which our people work each and every day.

“Port Authority is now looking to expand the project with another Seabin destined for another Sydney site in the coming months.”

Mr Holliday said he was pleased to see the workforce championing sustainability initiatives.

“Our people work every day on the water – it is our passion – and I’m really proud to see their proactive approach to improving our harbour for everyone,” Mr Holliday said.

The Seabin was installed at the port authority’s Millers Point depot site near Barangaroo in October 2021.