Tracking rubbish at local and global scales

We couldn’t find a reliable, freely available tool to identify pollution trends across the world. So we built our own. We’re creating a global database of real-time information about pollution that threatens nature. We don’t just log plastic – cans, glass, metals – if you see it, we want to know about it.

Download the Rubbish App and add to the Map.

The Rubbish Map

Every single photo categorised in the Rubbish App is shown in our interactive map, helping to identify trends and patterns all over the world.

Zoom in to see more rubbish photos and click on them to enlarge

To solve a problem, we must first understand it

Your contribution makes a difference

#PlasticPatrol depends on the power of people. Our action together in numbers:

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Countries
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Examples of Waste Uploaded
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#PlasticPatrollers Globally

How it works

We need your help to log plastic you find in your local area on our ‘plastic map’. With this data we can identify locations to take our clean up mission. We also use this to help understand the plastic problem and fuel research to make long term changes for our environment.

Download the
#PlasticPatrol app

Photograph and categorise rubbish you find

Upload your photograph
and see how you've helped fight the crisis

Why does it matter?

8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean every single year. At the moment we don’t know much beyond this. There is no well-established data about non-plastic pollution like metal and glass. 

There is an enormous gap in our understanding and rubbish keeps polluting nature. We don’t have time to waste guessing how to solve the problem.

Our research

We’ve partnered with the University of Nottingham in the UK, who review and analyse everything you log in the Rubbish App. The information collected is hugely valuable (it’s like gathering evidence!). Your data helps us to understand the types, distribution, amount and brands of plastic (and other waste like glass, cans etc) we are finding so we can stop the problem from the source.

By understanding the problem better we can develop targeted solutions for smarter packaging, policy changes and responsible behaviours.

A word from the University of Nottingham

“Plastic Patrol’s platform offers an incredible opportunity to better understand the distribution and diversity of the litter that is present in the UK’s inland waterbodies. The data collected has the potential to identify the most appropriate strategies to mitigate plastic pollution from local to national scales. By identifying each item of litter to type and, where possible brand, this initiative will produce one of the most comprehensive databases of litter available to the public, to policy, and to industry. Not only will this be invaluable to an increasingly environmentally aware society, but it could also inform industries of the fate of the disposable products they produce at a scale that cannot be ignored.”

Tom Stanton, PhD Researcher, University of Nottingham

Building a
community

Over the last two years we have intercepted 189 tons of plastic waste from inland waterways before it reaches the oceans.  That is equivalent to the weight of 15 million water bottles! With your help we can continue to tackle the global plastic crisis from its source.

Download our App

In the App Store

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