Perth, Australia, May 09, 2022– (Business Wire) – A state-of-the-art new tool developed by the Minderu Foundation has, for the first time, identified thousands of waste dumps in 25 countries, space to measure the amount of plastic piles using advanced satellite data technology and machine learning.
Global Plastic Watch (globalplasticwatch.org) is a tool that combines Earth observation and artificial intelligence to use high-resolution images of plastic pollution maps in almost real time. It is the largest open source dataset of plastic waste in dozens of countries. The goal of this tool is to help authorities better manage plastic leaks in the marine environment.
The Global Plastic Watch uses images from the European Space Agency’s remote sensing satellites and is the first such machine learning model developed in collaboration with Arthurize Media, an award-winning agency for digital environmental protection products. The tool is capable of calculating the size and extent of landfill plastics, a major cause of the growing problem of plastic pollution in the world’s rivers and oceans.
The data collected represents a historic first and provides reliable information and insights into one of the planet’s forked environmental challenges: the onslaught of plastic pollution that threatens the oceans and harms communities, marine life and human and animal health. This tool enables governments, industries and communities to assess and monitor the risks posed by plastic landfills and prioritize their investment solutions.
Among the countries mapped so far are all of Southeast Asia, Australia, and those that are researched and featured, according to Science Advances, by the high rate of plastic emissions at sea.
Dr Andrew Forrest, chairman and co-founder of the Companions of the Order of Australia, and the Minderu Foundation, called data and transparency an important tool in the fight against plastic waste. Until now, it has been difficult to identify and measure the amount of plastic waste piled up in an efficient, standardized and systematic way.
“Around the world, most people are unaware of how dangerous plastic waste is to the biological environment and, more specifically, to humans. All plastic fragments turn into nanoplastics with toxic and cutting properties, capable of distorting cells and even crossing the human blood-brain barrier, ”explained Dr. Forrest.
“Preventing legal and illegal plastic waste dumps from entering the marine environment is the key to limiting this damage. Once at sea, plastics are mixed, absorbed and accepted by animals before they end up in the human environment.
Thanks to artificial intelligence and satellite data, the Mindaru Foundation has, for the first time, been able to map piles of plastic waste. Most of our plastic waste data comes from models and estimates. Now based on our comprehensible practical information that can be used to guide solutions.
Global Plastic Watch equips governments and researchers around the world with data that can better guide waste management practices and ensure that landfills do not end up in our oceans, ”said Dr. Forrest. “We want to work with the government so that this tool can help change policy if necessary. A
Dr. Fabian Laurier, head of technology, innovation and marine conservation at the Mindaru Foundation, says some of the results of the Global Plastic Watch are amazing.
“We know that leaks from landfills are responsible for up to 91 percent of ocean plastic pollution,” said Dr. Laurier. “Global Plastic Watch has revealed that in the first 25 countries mapped, many large landfills have not yet been mapped and the number of sites has exceeded expectations. A
The Indonesian government is working with the Mindaru Foundation to increase its recycling capacity and double its recycling rate by building infrastructure by allowing an additional million tons of waste to be treated annually by 2025.
Dr. Noni Hendiarty, Assistant for Coordination of Environment and Forest Management at the Indonesian Ministry of Investment and Maritime Affairs, congratulated the Mindaru Foundation for launching the Global Plastic Watch.
“Global Plastic Watch is very good at detecting illegal or unlisted Indonesian landfills,” said Dr. Hendiarty. “This has allowed us to prioritize areas that require better waste management policies and action. The project therefore plays a key role in accelerating the government’s progress in waste management in all regions of the country.”
Mr. Indrastuti Hadiputranto, Chair of the National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP) in Indonesia, said that tackling the challenge of plastic pollution in Indonesia requires a concerted effort between civil society and the public, as elsewhere in the world. And the private sector, and that action should be taken without exception.
“Global Plastic Watch is a data aggregator and monitoring platform for plastic waste,” said Mrs. Hadiputranto. “This is a timely initiative for policy makers, scholars and staff who believe in the importance of evidence-based policy decisions to advance our goal of reducing 70 percent of water leaks by 2025. I believe that other data-driven innovations, like Global Plastic Watch, Will allow the implementation of more sustainable policies and optimize data collection cooperation in Indonesia.
The Global Plastic Watch is a tool aimed at better combating the occurrence of unlisted dumps and supporting national efforts to understand the extent and impact of terrestrial plastic dumps by monitoring those that pose health and environmental risks. The data will enable direct investment in waste treatment infrastructure where it is most needed.
The development of the Global Plastic Watch Tool follows the creation of the Plastic Waste Makers Index, launched in 2021, which reveals the true scale and real source of the global plastic waste crisis.
Globally, single-use plastic production is projected to grow by 30 percent over the next five years. According to the Mindaru Foundation’s No Plastic Waste Initiative, the increase will create three trillion additional disposable plastic items by 2025.
Global Plastic Watch will continue to work with partners to refine AI models and technologies and enhance their accuracy, as the project expands its coverage to new countries and locations throughout 2022.
Global Plastic Watch Website: globalplasticwatch.org
Global Plastic Watch Project Website: Minderoo.org/global-plastic-watch/
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About the Mindaru Foundation:
Founded in 2001 by Andrew and Nicola Forrest, the Mindaru Foundation is a modern philanthropic organization that seeks to break down barriers, innovate and drive positive and lasting change. The Mindaru Foundation is proud to support the Australian and its core initiatives, from sea research and the end of slavery to cooperation in the fight against cancer and the development of community projects.
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