Researchers in Greece have found an innovative way to fight against a global environmental issue: plastic pollution.

A team from the University of the Aegean have developed a system using drones and satellites, which has the ability to search, find and track millions of tonnes of plastics which are either on or near the surface of the sea, and estimates the density of plastic.

This was exemplified in an experiment carried out on the coast of Lesvos. The team set up three floating targets on 7 June, and four satellites were used to collect data from the area. They managed to accurately record the presence of the plastics, including the position and density, with surprising accuracy.

Drones played a key role in the successful experiment.

“Our targets show up very well in the satellite images,” Professor Constantinos Topouzelis who heads the team told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.

“We are essentially in a position to say that we can see the plastics in great concentrations on the surface of the sea.”

The ground breaking technology will help to keep Greece’s waters clean, and the ocean life thriving. Meanwhile the researchers are also hopeful that the technology will be able to be implemented in other seas around the world.

The team of researchers from the University of the Aegean.