World’s Plastic Waste Mapped from Space for the First Time

Environmental News from the UK: 

The Global Plastic Watch team took Sky News on a virtual tour of the site before it launched, showing the hundreds of plastic waste sites scattered around the world.

Sprawling dumps of plastic waste can now be mapped from space thanks to a new tool using satellite imagery and artificial intelligence in what is believed to be a world first.

From a burning waste on a Sri Lankan beach to an Indonesian site seeping into a river, Global Plastic Watch (GPW) can detect sites as small as five by five meters, presenting them in an interactive global map of plastic in near real-time.

“It’s not about naming and shaming,” but “empowering governments” with information to help tackle the problem, explained Fabien Laurier, a key architect of GPW.

The free, public tool, entirely funded by the philanthropic Australian Minderoo Foundation, is designed to help stop plastic from flowing into the ocean. It has been “applauded” by the United Nations.

“It is difficult to control what you cannot measure” or even locate, Kakuko Nagatani-Yoshida from the United Nations Environment Programme told Sky News. She hopes governments would use the “cutting-edge” technology to reduce “open-dumping and burning of waste.”

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Source: Sky News

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