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Transforming Beach Cleanups: Tech Innovation for Environmental Impact


Salty Monkeys are a Torres Strait-based First Nations-owned and operated business promoting sustainability through education, community and creative collaborations.

By harnessing the power of technology, Salty Monkeys in partnership with KJR are revolutionising the way we tackle marine debris and plastic pollution, delivering tangible benefits for both the environment and local communities. 

At the heart of this initiative lies a commitment to efficiency and effectiveness. Traditional beach cleanup efforts have often been hampered by manual surveys and labor-intensive removal operations, consuming significant time and resources. However, by leveraging cutting-edge tools such as drones, artificial intelligence, and big data analytics, KJR and Salty Monkeys have streamlined the process, reducing both the time and cost associated with cleanup efforts. 

Drones and AI

Drones equipped with high-resolution cameras now take to the skies, capturing detailed imagery of coastal areas, including remote and inaccessible locations. This aerial perspective provides invaluable insights into the extent and distribution of marine debris, allowing for targeted cleanup efforts and more efficient resource allocation. 

But the innovation doesn’t stop there. Utilising artificial intelligence and machine learning, the collected data is analysed and processed with unprecedented speed and accuracy. This enables the rapid identification, classification, and mapping of different types of marine debris, further enhancing the effectiveness of cleanup operations. 

KJR brings its expertise in software testing, artificial intelligence, edge computing, network integration, software configuration & customisation, and quality assurance to ensure the seamless integration of the various technology components and processes.

Circular Economy

Yet, what truly sets this project apart is its commitment to sustainability and community engagement. Rather than simply disposing of the collected waste, Salty Monkeys have embraced a circular economy mindset, repurposing it into useful objects such as musical instruments and fins. This not only reduces the environmental impact of plastic waste but also adds value to materials that would otherwise end up in landfills or polluting our oceans. 

 Aaron Bell, KJR Remote Data Technologies General Manager, says

Technology holds the promise to bridge gaps, empower communities, and drive positive change. When we use it to address pressing issues and improve lives, we not only unlock potential but also shape a brighter, more inclusive future for all Australians.

Salty Monkeys

Furthermore, by partnering with Salty Monkeys who have deep ties to the local community, KJR ensures that the project is grounded in cultural relevance and community empowerment. This inclusive approach not only fosters greater cooperation and support but also ensures that the project is benefiting the community. 

UN Sustainable Goals

In addition to its environmental benefits, the project also aligns with broader sustainability goals, including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 14 (life below water) and 15 (life on land).

By contributing to the cleanup of marine debris, KJR and Salty Monkeys are actively working towards a more sustainable and resilient future for Australia.

We see the partnership between KJR and Salty Monkeys represents a shining example of how technology can be leveraged for environmental good. By combining innovation with sustainability and community engagement, they are not only cleaning up our beaches but also paving the way for a brighter, more sustainable future for generations to come.