On August 8, the first field survey has started in the pilot area on the Caspian Sea coast of Neftchala region within the CRIPTIC project. CRIPTIC (Cleaning Riverine Plastic from a Transboundary Inflow to the Caspian) is a Norwegian-Azerbaijani joint research project funded by the Handelens Miljøfund Environmental Foundation. The CRIPTIC project is also supported through CASPISNET partners network by BP, ESRI, At-Geotech, Azercosmos, Executive Power of Neftchala Region Center Administration, MONT Group, SPECTRA, Az-Green, CASPIAN GEOMATICS and Quintessence C&S.
The main partners of the project on the Norwegian side are Aquaplan-Niva (lead), Norwegian Institute for Water Research NIVA, SALT, Terra Nor, and on the Azerbaijani side are the Caspian Integrated Scientific Network (CASPISNET) with Azerbaijan Geographical Society co-lead, the Institute of Geography of ANAS, Water Experts Union, Azersu is represented by Sukanal Research and Design Institute of OJSC.
About 50 students, early career scientists and specialists from different universities and organisations including private sector participated in First CRIPTIC Field Work. Crews began online registration and cleaning of each plastic waste collected using special software after drone shooting in a 1,200-meter-long and 140-meter-wide strip in the pilot zone. This method, which is applied for the first time in Azerbaijan, will help many specialists and relevant organisations to use the modern world experience to effectively combat plastic waste. The collected plastic waste was handed over to a plastic waste recycling plant in Baku.