World’s first city-wide plastics survey set to tackle planet’s ocean waste problems through citizen science project launches in Portsmouth

A UNIQUE project tackling the planet’s plastic problem by mapping the city’s rubbish ‘hotspots’ has been launched.

Monday, 25th October 2021, 4:55 am
A project has been launched to find Portsmouth's rubbish 'hotspots'. Picture: Sam Stephenson

The Mapping Portsmouth Plastic project - known as MAPP - is the world’s first city-wide plastics survey.

It will see residents from across the area download a free app to take pictures of the plastic waste they spot on specific dates, reporting the findings back to researchers.

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A project has been launched to find Portsmouth's rubbish 'hotspots'. Picture: Sam Stephenson

The project is being delivered by the University of Portsmouth’s Revolution Plastics initiative, which is working with Jetsam Tech, a Portsmouth-based environmental technology company.

Launched at an event hosted by The Institute of Marine Sciences at Eastney Point, MAPP aims to help find solutions to reduce plastic waste in urban areas.

Sam Winton, who is coordinating the project, said: ‘We want to see if this method can work, and if so it can be rolled out to other places.

‘We want people to become more aware - people think of plastic waste as in the Pacific Ocean but you just need to look around you.

‘If we can tackle it in the city centres, that will have a big impact.’

Portsmouth people can download the Jetsam app on their mobile phones and submit photographs of the plastic waste they encounter in their daily lives.

Users of the app will be asked to take part in surveys on specific dates, the first survey taking place from November 12 to 13.

Researchers will analyse data gathered via the Jetsam app to better understand the patterns and movement of plastic waste in Portsmouth.

The information will help them develop ways of reducing large amounts of plastic from entering the environment.

Professor Steve Fletcher, director of Revolution Plastics at the University of Portsmouth, said: ‘We’d like people to participate in the citizen science survey of plastic waste in Portsmouth.

‘This urban survey will help protect marine habitats.’

‘By signing up now, people are then ready to participate in the world’s first city-wide plastics survey,

‘I think it’s the sort of topic that people can feel passionate about and can do something about.’

Sam added: ‘We want to give people hope that there’s something they can do, to join everyone in community action.’

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