This map is an educative tool to illustrate the fate of floating plastic 20 years from now, should you lose it today from your location or anywhere else in the world. Where will it go? How probable is it that it will reach the ocean? This tool will give you a possible answer to these questions and show you just how far plastic can travel from its starting point.
With this tool, we hope to convey that plastic pollution is everyone’s responsibility and that we can all help counter it by using less plastic and making sure it doesn’t end up in the wrong place.
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If you find it insightful, mind-boggling, or simply interesting, please share this map with your friends in order to spread awareness about plastic pollution.
Please note that, due to the chaotic nature of plastic dispersion, the Plastic Tracker will present you with possibilities of trajectories, and not an absolutely certain future trajectory.
Please also note that this tool does not accurately represent all types of plastic and all situations. You will find a list of limitations below and you can learn even more on this
– The Plastic Tracker cannot represent trajectories around the
polar circle. What happens to plastic in the Arctic Ocean is not well understood yet and our models have not been validated there.
– We do not yet fully understand what happens to plastic at the
border between land and ocean. It is believed that a significant part of plastic sinks in these places before reaching the open ocean.
– This tool represents the trajectories of
floating plastics. Not all of them will keep their buoyancy long enough to reach offshore locations, and a significant part of them will sink in the rivers and estuaries because of that. For example, while plastic bottles tend to not reach the open ocean, their caps are much more likely to do so. Learn more here.
While these facts can make the trajectory forecast inaccurate, it is important to note that, even if plastics does not go further than the estuary or the river, it will still stay there and pollute for decades to come.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial – NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. This means you can blog, link, like, share and tweet as much as you like but can’t change or use the work commercially.