Marine conservation charity GreenSeas Trust is going global by sending its first bins to a country outside the UK as it installs its 18th eye-catching receptacle in a prime site outside the International Maritime Organization’s headquarters in London.

IMO secretary general Arsenio Dominguez was on hand on Thursday morning to cut the ribbon and post the first plastic bottle through the BinForGreenSeas recycling bin on the Albert Embankment next to the River Thames — a fourth bin of its type in London.

Speaking at the event, GreenSeas Trust founder and trustee Fazilette Khan — a former TradeWinds columnist — said the charity is growing rapidly and revealed that another six BinForGreenSeas are in the works.

Three of the colourful bins are due to head for Qatar and will be the first BinForGreenSeas to be installed outside the UK.

Three more UK coastal and riverside towns — Cardiff, Eastbourne and Windsor — are also due to receive bins shortly.

Khan said the Trust’s vision for the next two years is to have a larger international presence and be more involved in environmental education both in schools and with seafarers.

Dominguez highlighted that Khan is a former seafarer and has experienced the environmental challenges faced by the world’s oceans from the land and the sea.

The IMO chief said he is very pleased that three BinForGreenSeas will head for Qatar. “I look forward to seeing more of those bins all over the world,” he said.

Dominguez, who seemed genuinely bowled over by the bright-looking new addition outside his headquarters, said the bin is literally staring at the IMO and is a reminder that even though the organisation has done much for the environment there is always more it can do to avoid plastic pollution.

Khan, who set up GreenSeas in 2003 in memory of her mother to prevent plastics from getting into the sea, said the Trust’s existing 17 bins in the UK together collect an average of 81,000 plastic bottles of 500 ml size per month and 970,000 bottles annually.

Her goal is to top the 1m mark which she hopes the incoming bins will do.

Khan described BinForGreenSeas as “a solution-based approach” to changing human behaviour and said the bins also act as a 24/7 visual educational tool to make people aware of marine pollution.