The pressing challenge of plastic waste collection at sea requires urgent innovation. Alarming statistics reveal that more than two-thirds of global plastic escapes the recycling process, leaving an estimated 5 billion pieces adrift in our oceans. This poses a grave environmental threat, particularly to our maritime ecosystems, where biodiversity suffers in several ways, and if left unaddressed, this crisis will increasingly impact our ecosystems, jeopardize our health, and undermine our economies.
To safeguard our planet, innovative solutions are essential to mitigate this growing menace and protect our precious oceans, for they are the lifeblood of our planet’s health and well-being.
Our cutting-edge model predicts plastic waste patch movements with exceptional precision, not only forecasting future trajectories but also tracing them back to their origin, to enable preventive measures at their source. With our high-performance metocean dataset, we pinpoint high-likelihood coastal impact areas, empowering local communities to protect their ecosystems and economies.
In May 2021, DES collaborated in a joint Beach Waste Tracking System (BEWATS) project in Galicia, Spain, using sea current and tide models to predict waste origins and endpoints. Seasonal plastic waste variation at the Cíes Islands was traced back to the Ría of Vigo by our model, and the results were confirmed by our dynamic sea route analysis and validated by satellite images from GMV.