Originally Published April 28, 2021 by CTVNEWS
TORONTO — Orange water bottles are now floating around Lake Ontario, but there’s actually a good reason why.
The University of Toronto kick-started their “Tagging Trash” program this week, where GPS-tracked water bottles get placed into Lake Ontario to see where they end up.
Researchers are using water bottles to represent floating litter in the harbour and will follow their travels to “reveal movement patterns and potential accumulation zones for floating litter.”
Each bottle contains a satellite tracker that’s configured to give hourly location updates to the team.
Up to 20 water bottles have been deployed.
“Location data will help our team investigate the potential pathways and sources of floating litter in Lake Ontario,” the website for the program says. “This data will then be used to help develop a hydrodynamic model to predict and better understand the transport of plastics within, as well and out of, the Toronto Harbour.”
Researchers say once they can determine where plastics are ending up in the harbour, they can pinpoint where to best install trash capture devices.
When the project is complete, researchers said they will use the GPS trackers to locate the water bottles and remove them from the water.
Anyone who spots an orange bottle is being asked to leave it in the water.