Almost 26 million tonnes of plastic waste are generated in Europe every year and around 80% of marine litter is plastic. It causes one of the most pressing environmental problems, posing threats on aquatic life, ecosystems and human health due to contamination of food and drinking water. It has also important economic impacts on coastal communities, tourism and fisheries. Space-based remote sensing technologies and data, however, can play a significant role in detecting, tracking and mapping concentrations of plastics, identifying hotspots and sources of the litter, detecting proxies of potential plastic pollution and can contribute to the effective deployment of clean-up solutions.
The CASSINI Maritime Prize Webinar jointly organized by EUSPA and Mercator Ocean will be held online, and it will focus on the use of EU Space data and services for marine ecosystems protection.
To tackle the global plastic pollution crisis, the European Commission launched the EIC Horizon and CASSINI Prize for digital space applications (HORIZON-EUSPA-2022-MARITIME-PRIZE) aiming at developing space solutions to track and remove marine plastic pollution.