A vast number of software, databases, methods, and other resources have been developed to enable plastic pollution research. This page is a curated and living index of tools that we believe to be relevant and useful to the field. If you are aware of something missing or incorrectly described, please let us know!


  • Database (62)
  • Tool (36)
  • Device (23)
  • Map (14)
  • Citizen Science (10)
  • Protocol (9)
  • Report (9)
  • Network (6)
  • Webinar (6)
  • Artificial Intelligence (4)


  • Plastic Pollution (42)
  • Occurrence (31)
  • Analytical Methods (25)
  • Sampling (19)
  • Advocacy (13)
  • Hazards (13)
  • Remediation/Cleanup (13)
  • Modelling (12)
  • Citizen Science (10)
  • Education (9)


  • Aquatic (54)
  • General / Not Applicable (53)
  • Marine (31)
  • Rivers (14)
  • Terrestrial (12)
  • Human Health (10)
  • Products (10)
  • Sediment (9)
  • Drinking Water (7)
  • Food Contact Materials (5)


  • Open Access (61)
  • Open Source (43)
  • Read Only (37)
  • Restricted (3)

Open Data

Open Data
  • Yes (119)
  • No (25)
Micro-AUVs by SEABER
Micro-Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

Autonomous underwater vehicle designed for oceanographic work that can collect water samples for eDNA and other constituents.

High-Throughput River Sampling System (tentative name)

Optimized high-throughput sampling methodology based on ASTM D8332. Publication forthcoming. See links below for availabile details: Plastics in Action Landing Page https://www.nait.ca/applied-research/our-work-and-impact/plastics-research-in-action Sampling video https://youtu.be/JyOabOKCsB8?si=XItqg3gHLaXjiN9N...

The podcast on plastics, people, and the planet

Long-running podcast focused on all aspects of plastic pollution by journalist Anja Krieger.

Coastal Pollution Toolbox

Toolbox and knowledge hub for decision-makers and scientists focsued on contaminants, nutrient, and carbon dynamics in temperate and polar coastal zones.


Open source web graphical user interface for serverless computer vision classification of individual items of trash within images.

Minderoo Plastic Health Map

Open access filterable database mapping >3,500 studies on plastic chemical exposure and human health impacts.

Plastic Prediction

A machine-learning model that predicts (rough estimates) of micro- and macro-plastic abundance in rivers prior to sampling.

Trash Tinder

A gamified web survey collecting information to inform educational and outreach tools for marine debris.

Plastic Pirates
Plastic Pirates – Go Europe! is a European Citizen Science campaign, in which school classes and youth groups collect plastic samples from streams and rivers and document their findings. The collected data is then analysed by scientists and researchers. In this way, young European citizens are making an important contribution to researching the state of European rivers and the extent and pollution caused by plastic waste.

A European Citizen Science Campaign in which school clasess and youth groups collect plastic samples from streams and rivers and document their findings.

Global database on packaging producers and users

Open database with quantitative measures for company data on global plastic production and usage, including: plastic packaging weight, reusable plastic packaging percentage, post-consumer recycled plastic...

Micro and NanoPlastic FRAGMentation in the ENvironmenT

Open-source Python-based mechanistic model of Micro and NanoPlastic FRAGMentation in the ENvironmenT.

ISO/CD 16094-2
Water quality — Analysis of microplastic in water — Part 2: Vibrational spectroscopy methods for waters with low content of suspended solids including drinking water

Standardized analytical method for qualitative and quantitative identification of microplastics using FT-IR or Raman spectroscopy.

Marine Plastic Database

*Limited access* relational database for microplastics with controlled vocabulary and schema.

Plastic Pollution Facts and Figures
The most recent, cited information on the plastic pollution crisis, its impacts on us and our ocean, as well as solutions

Fact sheets on plastic pollution.

The Great Bubble Barrier

A bubble-based plastic capture system for rivers that does not interfere with boating/shipping operations.

Plastics: Land to Sea Initiative

Program page for the University of Rhode Island’s “Plastics: Land to Sea” Initiative. Includes various resources, including news articles, events, and webinars.


Images from an immersive art installation made from 18,000 plastic cups to raise awareness.

Marine Debris K-12 Educator Resources

List of resources for lessons plans and other educational resources for microplastics and plastic pollution grouped by grade.

Beach Cleaning Robot

BeBot is a zero-emission, electric-powered remote-control robot designed to remove microplastics from beach sand.

Microplastics Data Crosswalk

Queryable and interactive Tableau dashboard for environmental microplastics monitoring data.


A digital platform for crowdsourcing structured information about plastic waste that utilizes an app that scans product barcodes.

Plastics Monitoring Detection Remediation Recovery

PRIORITY is a science and technology research network focused on developing, implementing, and consolidating strategies to tackle the global challenges of micro- and nanoplastics in...

High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Poll

Community page for a coalition aimed at developing an international, legally binding treaty on plastics that considered their full lifecycle.

Tire Particle Capture Device

Patent-pending device designed to be outfitted on car tires to capture tire particles using electrostatics and airflow.

Saturna Imaging System

A field-deployable imaging and illumination device that can rapidly characterize and quantify visible microplastic particles.


Small resource page for plastic manufacturing-related information curated by a Malaysia-based company.

A Directory of Marine and Freshwater Professionals

Boolean phrase searchable (crowd-sourced) directory of marine and freshwater professionals, projects, and events.

“The Sensor” (Tentative Name)
In-situ microplastics sampler and analyzer

THE SENSOR A real time in-situ sample collection and analysis sensor for microplastics. The current processes used to sample and analyze microplastic particles is difficult...

Framework Riverbank Plastic Monitoring Strategies
Same but Different: A Framework to Design and Compare Riverbank Plastic Monitoring Strategies

Framework to Design and Compare Riverbank Plastic Monitoring Strategies. A meta-analysis of monitoring protocols for macroplastics on riverbanks – what are some of the factors...

OEOO Microplastic Pollution Map

Microplastic Pollution Map is the first interactive world map to document the nature and extent of marine pollution through microplastics. OEOO has been cooperating with...

Beat the Microbead App

The Beat the Microbead app allows you to scan the ingredients on packaging to see if your product contains microplastics. You will immediately see if...

Plastic Detection Model

Open-source Image Recognition Model to detect plastics, glass, paper, rubbish, metal and cardboard using a pre-trained Deep Learning Convolutional Neural Network.

Certified Trash Full Capture Systems

List of Trash Full Capture Systems certified by the California State Water Resources Control Board for the Trash Amendments.

Trash Wheels

Semi-autonomous trash interceptor (solar & hydro powered) that is placed at the end of a river, stream or other outfall.

The Plastic Hunter

A pay-for-play portable, affordable floating wetland unit that collects and removes microplastic debris from rivers via plant root biofilters.

Model Recycling Program Toolkit

An interactive collection of EPA and other materials to create effective programs for recycling, composting, anaerobic digestion, reuse, repair and waste reduction.

Trash Blitz

Citizen science app to collect data on trash. Contributes to Break Free From Plastic’s Global Brand Audits.


“Trash skimmer” designed for use in calm environments such as marinas, yacht clubs, ports, etc.


Database of plastic pollution powered (in part) by citizen-science smartphone-mediated monitoring.

Clean Swell App

Mobile phone app for citizen scientists to record collected trash

Global South Climate Database

The Global South Climate Database is a publicly available, searchable database of scientists and experts in the fields of climate science, policy, and energy for journalists and...

International Waste Platform

Non-profit network of plastic pollution experts. Produces and collects information, presentations, and databases on plastic pollution.

Planet Reuse
Platform and Network for Reusable Packaging

Living database of reusable packaging materials, events calendar, and community forum.

Open-Source Autonomous Transatlantic Boat

Open source design for autonomous aqueous vessel. Could be used to design microplastics sampling equipment.

Plastic Forensics Fingerprinting Tool/Database

Open, crowd-source-able database of plastic leachates to be used with standardized extraction protocol and AI-powered forensics tool. Under Development.

Micro Investigators

New Zealand-based citizen science monitoring team for microplastics. Includes database, map of samples, and additional information for connecting with school kids.

The Plastics Piranha

Autonomous self-driving aquatic rover designed to remove macrodebris while collecting water quality data. Currently closed-source design.

Pan-African Micro and Nano Plastic Network

A network that promotes, facilitates, and encourages lateral collaboration and research efforts on plastic pollution in Africa.

International Knowledge Hub Against Plastic Pollution

IKHAPP brings together a community of concerned scientists from multiple scientific areas and disciplines that are committed to work towards an environment free from plastic...


A portable depth sampling instrument for microplastics and eDNA applications

Ocean Plastic Map

Crowdsourced (citizen science) living map/database of fouled beaches globally.

Plastic Odyssey

Marine expedition to raise action on plastic pollution. Includes open source technologies to recycle plastic waste.

Plastics Management Index

Scoring tool for plastic lifecycle sustainability and management practices of countries with various data visualization tools and additional content.

First steps towards an Assessment of plastic Risk to the Norwegian Environment (FARE)

Macro- and microplastics monitoring and toxicity data quality evaluation toolkit.

Cleanup News

Forum for independent blog posts on trash cleanup or other waste-related projects.

Marine Plastic Research Inventory
RRI 2.0

Database extracted from publications on marine plastic pollution in seas of East Asia, including science and humanities disciplines. As of 13 December 2021, it includes...

Plastics Policy Inventory

Living, searchable database of public policy documents targeting plastic pollution in several languages,

Living Landscape of Reusable Solutions

Regularly updated global list of for profit and nonprofit programs, campaigns and products that work to eliminate plastic waste by providing reusable solutions.

Tap Trap

Innovative open hardware concept tested by Moore Institute to sample microplastics in tap water.


Images and AI routine for classifying trash in images.

Trash Tracker

A computer vision algorithm for tracking trash from a camera mounted on a street sweeper.


A database for litter occurrence and litter hazards.


Models for tracking particles in the ocean that have been used to model plastic distribution.


An image classification model capable of drawing masks around clusters of trash in images.

Trash Data Treasure Trove

A data lake full of data related to trash, microplastics, and plastic pollution.