#2minutebeachclean data dashboard – unlocking the power of data
The 2 Minute Foundation is a charity with a vision to clean up the planet, 2 minutes at a time. Their #2minutebeachclean, #2minutelitterpick and #2minutestreetclean social media campaigns galvanise the public to pick up litter from the places that they love and share the results. Due to the global success of the hashtags, the charity launched a mobile app to help track the litter and collect data thanks to Resource Futures who helped make the most of this data for maximum impact and engagement potential.
Many thousands of people have participated in a 2 minute clean since the campaign’s founder, Martin Dorey, started the hashtag #2minutebeachclean in 2013. The success of the hashtags helps encourage people to get involved and create a sense community for those who care. The popularity is a clear signal to Government and industry of the need to tackle marine litter and keep our environment clean.
The 2 Minute Foundation app allows users to log the type and quantity of litter found. The Foundation asked Resource Future how to make the most of this data so that it could be used to engage local authorities and other stakeholders to take action on marine litter. Tackling marine litter and geeking out on waste data are two activities very close to our hearts, and so we were more than happy to give some of our time to help.
We analysed the data and provided key findings on the litter recorded. However, we wanted to go beyond this and provide The 2 Minute Foundation with a dynamic tool that would let them do their own analysis for a wide range of future applications.
Having developed interactive dashboards to visualise and explore environmental datasets in the past, we could see how this type of visual tool would add value for the data collected. We explained the approach to The 2 Minute Foundation, and they loved the idea.
“Working with Resource Futures has unlocked the power of The 2 Minute Foundation’s BEACH CLEAN app data. We are now able to quantify findings and present powerful evidence to engage stakeholders. The individuals, groups and families taking part in a #2minutebeachclean, #2minutelitterpick or a #2minutestreetclean are contributing valuable information through citizen science that can be used for better decision making and direct efforts to keep our beaches free from litter.”
The resulting dashboard maps all of the locations where people have ‘checked in’ to a 2 minute beach, litter or street clean, and shows KPIs and statistics on the quantity and type of litter found.
The 2 minute beach clean dashboard is currently being used by the charity and may be made available to others in the future. Dashboard users can zoom in to any level, and filter results by local authority or by drawing an area on the map. This allows the 2 Minute Foundation to identify litter hotspots and key litter items, all of which can be used to engage a local authority and other stakeholders in tackling marine litter.
Importantly, the dashboard will stay current as the dataset grows and this will enable The 2 Minute Foundation to respond to future challenges. It could be used, for example, to provide crucial evidence on the most common litter items and to assess the impact of interventions such as the single-use plastic bans. In this way, the #2minutebeachclean community is not only cleaning the local environment but also contributing to national research and helping to inform public policy to tackle this issue.
It’s a great example of how technology can be used to unlock large and complex data sets. There’s so much opportunity for these systems to help the environmental sector by presenting the right information to the right people, and we are currently working with Government, NGOs and industry to do so.