The Basel Action Network, a global watchdog group tracking the global trade in wastes, has joined forces with academics at Columbia and Yale Universities to create the Atlas of Plastic Waste, mapping thousands of plastic waste dumps scattered around the world. The project aims to harness human discoveries, along with inputs from satellite and computer technology to identify and map sites in every country where plastic waste ends up in the terrestrial environment. The goal is to provide an evolving database that will raise awareness with environmental officials and the general public on the unsustainable characteristics of plastic and how it has become an unwanted geographic feature of our collective landscape and earth’s biosphere.

In addition to thousands of formal landfills that are chalk-full of plastic waste, there are even more unmapped informal dumps.

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