The Plastic Tide
Whether you read my recent blog post, Plastic Pollution Problem, or not, the chances are you already know what a devastating effect plastic is having on our planet. There are trillions of plastic particles in our oceans, with an estimated additional 8 million tonnes entering every year, but researchers only know where 1% of that ends up. (source)
Now, thanks to The Plastic Tide, you can help without ever having to leave your house, though I would recommend getting out there and actually doing beach clean ups etc. too whenever you have the time to spare! TPT is a new organisation that uses drone technology to survey beaches, capturing images that citizen scientists like you can then tag litter and plastic pollution in. The more you tag, the more the program learns, meaning it becomes better at automatically detecting it.
In the words of Dr. Erik Van Sebille, an expert on ocean litter, “The Plastic Tide will significantly enhance our understanding of the amount of plastic on coastlines, by trialling revolutionary drone-based automatic detection of the litter. This will aid the creation of a global inventory of marine plastic pollution, and help identify hotspots, impacts and fate of our plastic.”
Clever, right? Now anyone with a computer can help provide valuable information about plastic pollution, enabling scientists to get a better picture of the impact that it is having on individuals, communities, and the planet as a whole as well as track the movement of plastic pollution across Earth.
How can you help?
- Log onto Zooniverse and tag plastics in their images.
- Take part in beach cleans, either with The Plastic Tide or alone/with friends.
- Donate to their crowdfunding campaign.
- Spread the word! Utilise social media to let your friends and family know about this innovative citizen science project and encourage them to get involved.
If you want to discover even more ways you can help tackle the huge problem of plastic pollution, read my previous blog post!
Thank you to Gerald Simon on Pixabay for the header photograph which dramatically illustrates the scale of the problem far better than any of my photographs.