Multimedia | Global Plastic Watch: satellite technology for the benefit of the fight against pollution

(ETX Daily Up) – The Global Plastic Watch is an interactive map that provides access to information to help associations, NGOs and governments fight against plastic pollution. This tool identifies areas of plastic pollution around the world using satellite images and artificial intelligence.

Take a step back to make better progress in the fight against plastic pollution. This is the momentum that the Global Plastic Watch (GPW) platform seeks to create by mapping areas of the world “near real-time”. Using satellite data from the European Space Agency, the interactive map identifies several areas where plastic pollution is spreading.

In a few clicks, we find ourselves in China where 415 sites are listed; in India where 690 sites polluted with plastic appear with yellow beacons on the map.

In detail, the number of square meters or the proximity to waterways provide more precise indications of the location. A chronological frieze makes it possible to visualize the changes from year to year. We then distinguish a cleaning in an area like Pakur in the state of Jharkhand in India for example. Earth plastic pollution accounted for more than 35,000 square meters in April 2016, while in June 2020, the GPW recorded only 5,000 square meters.

Southeast Asia is one of the most documented parts of the world. When eyes turn to Europe, for example, only Albania or Turkey have references. “So far, we have detected and confirmed 2,802 sites in 25 countries using the Global Plastic Watch tool. They include all of Southeast Asia, Australia and the top 20 countries in terms of annual plastic leaks into the oceans, according to the scientific publication Science Advances”, explains on its site the Minderoo foundation, at the origin of the interactive map GPW.

All this information is essential in the fight against plastic pollution. By identifying sites, the platform helps governments, NGOs and associations to enforce laws, clean up polluted areas, and make progress in waste management and recycling.

“We are incubating innovations to reduce recycling costs, create alternatives to plastic and reclaim plastic that is already polluting our environment – ​​especially the ocean. Our goal is to empower businesses, governments and consumers to take action effective in ending plastic pollution within a generation,” says the Minderoo Foundation.

Louis Bolla

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