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GIS and Remote Sensing-Based Approach for Monitoring and Assessment of Plastic Leakage and Pollution Reduction in the Lower Mekong River Basin

Dan Tran-Thanh, Aprilia Nidia Rinasti, Kavinda Gunasekara, Angsana Chaksan and Makoto Tsukiji
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Dan Tran-Thanh: Asian Institute of Technology, Khlong Luang 12120, Pathum Thani, Thailand
Aprilia Nidia Rinasti: Asian Institute of Technology, Khlong Luang 12120, Pathum Thani, Thailand
Kavinda Gunasekara: Asian Institute of Technology, Khlong Luang 12120, Pathum Thani, Thailand
Angsana Chaksan: Asian Institute of Technology, Khlong Luang 12120, Pathum Thani, Thailand
Makoto Tsukiji: UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

Sustainability, 2022, vol. 14, issue 13, 1-22

Abstract: Determination of plastic leakage sources and pathways is essential in plastic pollution mitigation. Finding ways to stem land-sourced plastic waste leakage requires understanding its sources. Spatial analysis conducted in a geographic information system (GIS) environment and remote sensing investigation uncovered insights into the distribution of plastic leakage in the lower Mekong River basin (LMRB). The main objectives of this approach were: (i) to map plastic leakage density using multi-source geospatial data; and (ii) to identify plastic leakage source hotspots and their accumulation pathways by incorporating hydrological information. Mapping results have shown that plastic leakage density was highly concentrated in urban areas with a high intensity of human activities. In contrast, the major pathways for plastic leakage source hotspots were the high morphometric areas directly influenced by facilities, infrastructure, and population. The overall efforts in this study demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed novel method used for predicting plastic leakage density and its sources from land-based activities. It is also accomplished using multi-geospatial data with GIS-based analysis to produce a graphical model for plastic leakage waste density in each region that non-technical personnel can easily visualize. The proposed method can be applied to other areas beyond the LMRB to improve the baseline information on plastic waste leakage into the river.

Keywords: land-based plastic leakage; plastic reduction; marine litter (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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