The largest initiative to clean plastic from our Great Lakes and waterways is happening in several marinas across Georgian Bay with what appear to be floating trash bins.

They are actually called seabins, and they work to collect plastic that's polluting bodies of water.

"About 22 million pounds of plastic ends up in our Great Lakes every year," said Andrea Khanjin, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

Pollution Probe CEO Christopher Hilkene said funding from the provincial government allows the non-profit group to tackle plastic pollution with the special bins.

"It looks like a garbage can you can put in the water, but it behaves like a vacuum cleaner," Hilkene said.

Each seabin collects an average of eight and a half pounds of trash per day, grabbing up everything from water bottles to microplastics.

"Plastic isn't naturally in the water," Hilkene said. "We put it there. We made the problem, and we need to solve it."

In all, 11 marinas across Ontario, including those chosen in Georgian Bay, will have seabins as part of the initiative.

David Sweetnam, executive director of Georgian Bay Forever, said they would be using the device to collect data and raise awareness.

"For us to look at the specific type of plastics that's being found in these devices and then being able to go to the public about behaviour changes that might correct that," he said.