Plastic Origins is a citizen data collection project developed by the NGO Surfrider Foundation Europe (www.surfrider.eu) which aims to map macro-waste pollution washed up along the banks of Europe's rivers. The results will allow to identify and alert the most affected territories, to propose solutions to local actors and to measure the evolution of the pollution in time.
To take part in the project, all you have to do is travel along the river around you, either by walking from the riverbank or using a kayak or any other watercraft from the water. You can use your smartphone and the Plastic Origins app to report the litter you find on your way. You have two options:
1. Using the manual mode, signal the presence of waste, bulky items, or accumulation areas by clicking on the corresponding buttons.
2. In development, the automatic mode will aim to identify such waste directly from videos thanks to artificial intelligence.
You must of course know how to swim and go out on the field in optimal safety conditions. Surfrider cannot be held responsible in case of accident, loss or damage of the equipment.
The data collected can be viewed at www.plasticorigins.eu. Surfrider Foundation Europe will report the results of the project at the national and European level to raise awareness among policy makers and encourage them to act. Locally, you can use these data to point out the most polluted areas and highlight the need to act against this pollution. Thanks to your results, we will know where to act and we will be able to measure the efficiency of our actions!
Ready to contribute? Here is what you can do:
1. Visit our website to learn more about the project (www.plasticorigins.eu) and Surfrider's actions (www.surfrider.eu). You will find presentation and training videos to understand the program and have all the necessary information before going on the field. We invite you to subscribe to one of our online trainings!
2. Install the Plastic Origins application on your smartphone, create an account and familiarize yourself with its features.
3. Contact us (email@example.com) if you have any questions about how the app works or how to get involved!
4. Take some time for yourself, spend some time in nature and use the time to collect some data :)
Many of the digital tools used in the project were developed by volunteers. This project would not have been possible without their invaluable help. Thanks to them! All codes and algorithms are open-source and available on our GitHub page (https://github.com/surfriderfoundationeurope).