Remote island has ‘world’s worst’ plastic rubbish density

pic 3 (647 x 430)An uninhabited island in the South Pacific is littered with the highest density of plastic waste anywhere in the world, according to a study, reports BBC. Henderson Island, part of the UK’s Pitcairn Islands group, has an estimated 37.7 million pieces of debris on its beaches. The island is near the centre of an ocean current, meaning it collects much rubbish from boats and South America. Researchers hope people will “rethink their relationship with plastic”. The joint Australian and British study said the rubbish amounted to 671 items per square metre and a total of 17 tonnes.
“A lot of the items on Henderson Island are what we wrongly refer to as disposable or single-use,” said Dr Jennifer Lavers from the University of Tasmania. A map showing Henderson Island approximately 5000 kilometres off the coast of South America The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, described how remote islands act as a “sink” for the world’s rubbish. In addition to fishing items, Henderson Island was strewn with everyday things including toothbrushes, cigarette lighters and razors.
“Land crabs are making their homes inside bottle caps, containers and jars,” Dr Lavers told the BBC. “At first it looks a little bit cute, but it’s not. This plastic is old, it’s sharp, it’s brittle and toxic.” A large number of hard hats of “every shape, colour and size” were also discovered, the marine scientist said.
Scale of waste: Henderson Island is listed by Unesco as a coral atoll with a relatively .


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