A new mobile app will help the fight against plastic pollution, empowering community members to contribute to real-time monitoring of rubbish collection from our beaches.
Tangaroa Blue, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the removal and prevention of marine debris, launched the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) app on Tuesday (19 June).
Managing Director Heidi Taylor said the app allowed citizen scientists and AMDI partners to contribute data from their clean-up activities to the AMDI Database.
“This data enables the tracking of marine debris and litter items back to the source, so that source reduction plans can be implemented to stop the flow of rubbish into our oceans,” Ms Taylor said.
“Volunteers can automatically record GPS data, add photos and even scan the barcode on rubbish so we can track it back to its source.”
Ms Taylor said the app had received support from Unitywater and Sunshine Coast Council.
Unitywater Community Relations Specialist Kate Cash said Unitywater supported Tangaroa Blue’s education initiatives.
“At Unitywater, we’re committed to reducing the impacts of plastic waste and it’s exciting to see this kind of technology being used to make it easier to work together to achieve this,” Ms Cash said.
“Only last year we supported Tangaroa Blue’s school education program to enable students to take part in the AMDI research. It’s wonderful that this can now be expanded to the broader community.
“We each have a role to play in the keeping our beaches and waterways free from the impacts of plastic and this app helps make a difference to the very real plastic waste issue.”
Sunshine Coast Council Environment Portfolio Councillor, Jenny McKay, said the ability to improve data analysis would help council and the community reduce the amount of waste in our region’s beaches and waterways.
“Sunshine Coast Council is proud to support Tangaroa Blue in this initiative,” Cr McKay said.
“Having worked with this organisation and contributing to the database through a range of clean-up events over many years, it is wonderful to see this group harness this technology to improve the health of our oceans, creeks, beaches and waterways.
“We have an incredibly passionate and engaged community on the Sunshine Coast and this new app offers a wonderful opportunity for everyone to get involved in this important work.”
The app can be downloaded for free by searching ‘Australian Marine Debris Initiative’ in the Android Play Store. It will be available from the Apple Store soon.