Boat owners measuring coastal Plastic Pollution globally with DJI drones
DJI, AnimaMundi Ocean Data Solutions and Lagoon are using drones to build the world’s first comprehensive database of plastic waste on coastlines, to build the first comprehensive global database on plastic waste on our coastlines.
The process begins with drones piloted by sailors taking place in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC), which starts from Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, on 21 November.
DJI is providing drones to Lagoon to measure plastic waste on beaches around the Caribbean. On the heels of COP26, these drones will gather images for AnimaMundi’s automated processing to measure the scope of plastic waste pollution faster, better and more safely than ever before. This essential data will provide evidence on whether actions to disrupt the flow of plastic into our oceans are leading to a reduction in pollution on our coastlines.
Of the more than 300 million tons of plastic produced every year, at least 8 million tons end up in our oceans, making up 80% of all marine debris, from surface waters to deep-sea sediment. 33,000 single-use plastic bottles are dumped in our oceans every minute of every day, affecting every coastline – and yet there is currently no global data documenting the size, location, and evolution of the problem.
Using leading edge next generation artificial intelligence, computer vision, and object recognition technologies, AnimaMundi has developed the software to automatically record, count, and register the presence and number of plastic bottles on our shores in real time. This information can be captured via an app using still photography as well as images from drones. The data is automatically uploaded, processed, and stored on the company’s servers. In today’s digital world big data is king and AnimaMundi, thanks to Lagoon owners and DJI, will be able to provide this much needed information to those involved in ocean health projects enabling results-driven, measurable impact for the many investments made.
Matt Cooper, founder and CEO, AnimaMundi is driven by the need for accurate real time data to ensure investment decisions are made correctly with measurable impact. He said: “Just before COP26 began, world leaders admitted that an annual $100-billion climate finance goal will not be reached until 2023. The need for urgent climate action is met with the need to ensure adequate and effective financing solutions. Big data like this will help to determine priorities for action.”
Lagoon is the world leader in the sailing catamaran market and has been a partner of the ARC rally since 2005. Through its ‘Club Lagoon’, Lagoon encourages its owners to sign up to this program aiming at reducing plastic waste in our oceans thanks to data collected by drones.
Thomas Gailly, Lagoon Brand Director, commented: “Lagoon is proud to be partnering with AnimaMundi in this exciting data collection initiative using our ‘Club Lagoon’ as part of the solution. We have over 6000 of our catamarans sailing around the world and we can feel that our customers are more and more willing to play a role in such initiatives. It’s stimulating to think that the Lagoon owner’s community could be involved in capturing this much needed data in a highly efficient way. This partnership is the perfect complement to our own policy of respect for the environment and all the work undertaken to reduce the environmental impact of our activities.”
DJI, the global leader in developing and manufacturing civilian drones and aerial imaging technology for personal and professional use, has provided repurposed drones to capture images of the Caribbean coastline that would otherwise be out of reach. Olivier Mondon, Senior Communication Manager at DJI Europe, said: “Our drones and cameras empower people to capture amazing photos, video, and high-end professional imagery in every corner of the world. Each day, we learn how drones benefit society as a whole, and we are proud to have our drones embark on this environmental journey with experienced sailors who will be able to work using repurposed products to enable invaluable data capture.”
Initially targeting the Caribbean islands, AnimaMundi is also finalizing a partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and its Plastic Waste-Free Islands (PWFI) initiative to generate weekly total island coastal plastic waste profiles covering Grenada, St Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda.
In 2019, with the support of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, IUCN launched the PWFI project in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and Oceania, seeking to promote a circular economy and demonstrate effective, quantifiable solutions to address plastic leakage from Small Island Developing States.