CSIRO is undertaking a major research programme, Plastics Mission, which aims to tackle plastic waste and reimagine the plastics’ future
Australia’s national science agency Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has partnered with Microsoft, Hobart City Council, and Chemistry Australia to help address and end plastics waste issue in the country.
CSIRO is undertaking a major research programme, Plastics Mission, which aims to tackle plastic waste and reimagine the plastics’ future.
Plastics Mission aims to help reduce global plastic pollution
The agency’s one of 12 missions currently under development, the Plastics Mission, uses science and technology to understand the extent of global plastic pollution and ways to reduce it.
CSIRO Senior Principal Research Scientist Dr Denise Hardesty said CSIRO, through the Plastics Mission, was working with collaborators to apply technological solutions to the entire plastics supply chain to help in preventing rubbish to end up in the environment.
Hardesty said: “Rethinking plastic packaging is just one way of reducing waste, through better design, materials and logistics. We can also transform the way we use, manufacture and recycle plastics by creating new products and more value for plastics.”
In partnership with Microsoft, the national science agency is working to use machine learning (ML) and apply camera sensor technologies to waste traps in order to collect data, which can help in detecting and classifying waterways rubbish.
Microsoft Australia CTO Lee Hickin said: “Microsoft AI image recognition is underpinning the identification of plastic pollution.
“By using AI to accelerate the detection and classification of rubbish in our waterways, we can simply react more quickly and work to improve the quality of water faster than if done manually.”
CSIRO, together with Hobart City Council, is working on the development of an autonomous sensor network capable of providing real-time reporting on the amount of rubbish being captured in storm drains.
City of Hobart Lord mayor Anna Reynolds said: “By tapping into CSIRO’s modelling capabilities, we can optimise our operations to avoid the release of pollutants, while improving safety and reducing environmental harm.”
Moreover, CSIRO is collaborating with Chemistry Australia and their Plastics Stewardship Australia initiative to assess ways to re-use and recycle plastic products.