UK’s litter-mapping drones report 454% increase in trash post-lockdown

A drone survey funded by McDonald’s has revealed the sordid scale of Britain’s trash problem. When rubbish-mapping drones scanned the coastal resort towns of Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole (BCP Council) in the month of May, it was discovered that littering had increased by 454% compared to the volumes found during the March lockdown.

In the March survey, drones picked up 22,266 items strewn on the beaches. But an AI analysis of drone data collected over a seven-day period in May led to the identification of more than 123,000 items. These included cigarette butts (47,467), paper napkins and receipts (32,678), and plastic fragments (6,578) from bottles, sweet wrappers, and such.

Over 1.5 tons of litter was identified in seven days, including over half a ton of glass bottles, mostly of alcohol. But that’s not all. Almost 7,000 items of garbage (5.7%) were family-related, including 370 toys, 342 wet wipes, and 147 juice cartons. Meanwhile, PPE made up for only 0.7%…