Tracking Plastic Waste
While the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has received a significant amount of media attention, less covered is how the trash got there in the first place. A project sponsored by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology is hoping to change this by studying the effects of plastic pollution on the South Pacific’s uninhabited beaches. Here, drones are outfitted with hyperspectral cameras to differentiate plastic from its surroundings. Without human interference, the debris can be counted and quantified to figure out where it’s coming from. With this information, a plan can be put into place to remove the garbage and resolve the issue. Currently, this data is open-source and can be accessed for free here.