Project Clearwater

Project Info

Sanity is optional thumbnail

Team Name

Sanity is optional

Team Members

Aravind , Wilko and 1 other member with an unpublished profile.

Project Description

Project Clearwater

by Team Sanity is Optional - GovHack 2020.

View our video covering our project here!

Our project uses IoT devices to track plastic waste. It comprises of three main parts - an AWS EC2 Instance, smart labels and readers in waterways.

AWS EC2 Instance

The EC2 instance is running a REST api developed in python using Flask. The scanners - described below - read data from the smart labels and transmit it to the database server. It also supplies the time to clients when requested so that they can sync.

Smart Labels

The requirements for the labels are relatively low. In the proof of concept, NTAG213 stickers were used. These run at 13.56MHz and can be read and written by common Arduino modules (we used a PN532) as well as many smartphones.

Some fields - such as the Universal Product Code (UPC) - are written when the product is packed at the factory whereas others are written by the Point of Sales (PoS) system at the time of sale.

The inclusion of UPC allows for quicker scanning at checkout. Furthermore, as the PoS system also writes to the tag, it can be used for simpler theft detection.

More technical data can be found on our GitHub page.


In the proof of concept, the scanners were built using an ESP8266 development board which has builtin WiFi, and a PN532 rfid module. For an actual design, we'd recommend using mobile data.

More technical information can be found on our GitHub Page!

#water #waterway #pollution #iot #detection

Data Story

The data shows that plastic waste is a big problem, and needs to be addressed promptly. Our project, aims to collect more data on the trail of plastic in our water ways to deal with the problem effectively.

Evidence of Work



Project Image

Team DataSets

Melbourne drain and waterway outlets

Description of Use Research for location of sensors

Data Set

Waterways Centreline

Description of Use Research on feasibility of placing sensors.

Data Set

Melbourne Water YourSay – Community Reporting

Description of Use Preliminary research - are people satisfied with their environment, esp litter?

Data Set

Lake water quality trends 2008–2017 1998–2017 and 1990–2017

Description of Use Preliminary Research

Data Set

Department Environment Land Water and Planning Victoria

Description of Use Preliminary research

Data Set

Challenge Entries

Track and trace: help end plastic waste

Plastics contaminate Australia’s lands and seas, and challenge our industries, communities and decision makers with an exponentially growing problem. How might we enable and empower Australians to help de-plasticise our country and report plastic waste in our environment for a healthier future.

Go to Challenge | 11 teams have entered this challenge.

Data Driven IoT Insights for sustainable communities

How can data from connected devices on the wireless Internet of Things (IoT) network be used to make our community spaces - our homes, towns, cities or region - more efficient and sustainable?

Go to Challenge | 14 teams have entered this challenge.