Finding plastic hotspots with GIS data

Lisa Geers, Pinelopi-Eirini Kountouri, Katrin Meschin, Konstantinos Pantelios, Androniki Pavlidou, Simon Pena Pereira

To reduce plastic pollution of water bodies, the Delft-based start-up Noria installs collectors in rivers and canals to prevent plastic reaching the ocean. For maximum effect they are placed at plastic hotspots – areas where plastic is more likely to accumulate. To help identifying such hotspots, a semi-automated process was developed using open data analysed through GIS and a network simulation model.  Several factors impacting the movement of plastic are regarded in the analysis, among them wind direction, water flow, canal geometry, vegetation and manmade structures in waterways. Eventually, potential hotspots suggested by the model are then compared with ground truth data to obtain an accuracy measure of the analysis.

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