The Plastic Tide

Our Mission:

To harness cutting edge drone and algorithm technology to create an open source map of the plastic pollution problem, in the UK and beyond. Help us to make our Vision from the Skies a Vision of the Future, in fighting the rising tide of plastics around the world.

 

 

IMG_2064.JPG

The Plastic Tide will harness the power of new drone technology in an innovative and revolutionary way; surveying beaches in a series of beach cleans and using Machine Learning Algorithms to remotely detect plastic build-up, with numerous and multi-disciplinary applications.

 

Dr. Erik Van Sebille, world expert on marine litter and Science Adviser to the Plastic Tide, says;


“The Plastic Tide will significantly enhance our understanding of the amount of plastic on coastlines, by trialing 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.”

Our Goals

20170226_114034.jpg

A REVOLUTIONARY USE OF DRONE TECHNOLOGY AND MACHINE LEARNING TO AUTONOMOUSLY MEASURE THE RISING TIDE OF PLASTICS POLLUTING OUR BEACHES.

The core goals of the project are: firstly, to produce an Open Source Machine Learning Algorithm capable of detecting up to 90% of beach plastics via pioneering use of imaging technology. Secondly, to engage in a large-scale, accessible and educational Citizen-Science Project, and thirdly, to explore the relationship and impacts of plastics on communities and individuals.

Our engineer, Ben Hahn working on the Algorithm

Our engineer, Ben Hahn working on the Algorithm

01. MACHINE LEARNING ALGORITHM

To develop an Algorithm based on cutting edge Machine Learning Technology capable of creating a clear Vision from the Skies of the plastics problem.

 

Tagging Plastics on Zooniverse

Tagging Plastics on Zooniverse

02. CITIZEN SCIENCE              

To engage the public in creating scientifically valuable datasets, through; 

(a) Helping to train our algorithm by labeling plastics and

(b) joining us on beach cleans.

The Plastic Tide Team collecting data in the field.

The Plastic Tide Team collecting data in the field.

Rubbish collected in 20minutes at Rhossili beach, Wales.

Rubbish collected in 20minutes at Rhossili beach, Wales.

03. OPEN DATA & COLLABORATION   

We believe in making our data transparent and available for the public and research communities. Therefore all drone images, algorithms and coding will be open-source, and we are aiming to host plastic drone survey imagery and algorithm results from around the world.

 

 

04. HUMAN IMPACTS      

We will also facilitate an extensive study into the impacts of Plastics and Marine Litter on the health and wellbeing of people - backed and published through leading academic institutions.