Drones were central to entertaining and engaging events across the UK which attracted hundreds of thousands of people to engage with the British Science Association’s campaign to clear plastic from Britain’s beaches.
Recycling was the theme of a 10-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths. Focusing on the citizen science project The Plastic Tide (TPT) it tapped into current interest in tackling plastic pollution.
More than a million images of rubbish on beaches captured through drone technology were tagged, smashing the association’s target of 250,000 tags. The information gathered allowed TPT to create an algorithm that can identify plastic on beaches automatically.
A drone flying demonstration by pilot Ellie Mackay on Brighton beach attracted coverage on the BBC’s Breakfast, News at One and Newsround broadcasts, as well as Sky News. There was a photo shoot with The Times and Press Association interest delivered coverage in more than 70 regional newspapers.
Overall media coverage amounted to 169 pieces with a potential audience reach of more than 974 million.
Advice from recycling experts Wrap and a survey by OnePoll turned the spotlight on what could and couldn’t be recycled, as did a high-speed game of sorting recycling. It proved a big hit on the homepages of The Times,The Guardian and Sky News.
Judge Avril Lee described the campaign as: “Very creative, excellent work.”