Not a day seems to go by without drones hitting the news headlines in one way or another and it’s not always good news. However, this recent news headline certainly demonstrates the potential for drones to be used in aerial survey work for all sorts of good causes – in this case, the fight against plastic pollution in our seas.
Operation Plastic Tide is the brainchild of Ellie Mackay and Peter Kohler, who want to find the answers to where the plastic pollution in the ocean is ending up as only 1% can actually be accounted for. Their mission is track down the remaining 99%, whether it be in the wildlife, on the beaches or in the water. They are using a drone and a piloting software to patrol areas of coastline and uploading the images to a crowd-sourcing platform called Zooniverse. Viewers can then examine the images and tag the pieces of plastic that they find in them. They plan to travel the entire UK coastline capturing the data that will hopefully provide the basis for an informed strategy on how to combat the environmental risks of waste plastics.