Uninhabited Island has 'World's Worst' Plastic Pollution

Henderson Island in the South Pacific is thousands of miles from any major industrial centers or human communities. But it's filled with trash — more than 37 million pieces of it researchers say

This mass, however, represents only "1.98 seconds' worth of the annual global production of plastic", researchers wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

She estimates 3,570 new pieces of trash wash up on Henderson Island every single day on just one of the island's beaches.

Henderson Island, a British overseas territory and part of the Pitcairn Islands group, is just over 14 square miles in size and is more than 3,000 miles from the nearest major landmass, and yet is reported to swamped by at least 17 tonnes of plastic and other debris.

She estimates that there are almost 38 million pieces of plastic on and below the surface of the 14 square mile Henderson Island, weighing 17.6 tonnes.

The samples were taken at five sites on the island, from four inches below the surface.Researchers have not checked the cliffs or rocky coastline, which might lead them to warn that their report might underestimate the real scope of the problem. Cigarette lighters, light bulbs, cutlery, tooth brushes, pen lids and plastic buoys were also found. Scientists found all sorts of plastic debris on the island, from toy soldiers to the red motels from the Monopoly board game, according to the AP. It has some human history-a few generations of Polynesians, some explorers, the wreck of a whaler, visits from timber harvesters from Pitcairn Island-but nothing to suggest the tide of garbage all over it.

A once lovely uninhabited island, a sanctuary to multiple endangered species, is now revealed to be the most polluted place on Earth with 17 tons worth of plastic resting on its shores.




About 27 percent of the items were identifiable as being from South America, including beach equipment and fishing gear.

"Almost every island in the world and nearly every species in the ocean is now being shown to be impacted one way or another by our waste", she said.

The answer is that Henderson Island acts as a bit of a sink for the Pacific Ocean. Millions of pieces of floating plastic debris have washed up on its shoreline in greater volume than scientists have ever witnessed.

But now, researchers say it has earned a much more worrisome new title: the world's most polluted island. Lavers urges governments to stop wasting breath on the decades-old climate change debate and start taking action on the things we do know: Plastic is saturating the Earth and something has to be done now. About 55% of the world's seabird species, and a large number of marine organisms, are known to be at risk from plastic pollution, according to their study.

Lavers said that most of the 300 million tonnes of plastic produced globally every year was not being recycled and was having a long-term impact on the world's oceans.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Philippines' Duterte open to South China Sea deals
May 17, 2017 - 02:22
Duterte has put the ruling on the back burner and said he will revisit it later in his term. The Chinese are eating Philippine bananas again and Philippine pineapples", he said .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Injured Gareth Bale in race to feature in Champions League final
May 17, 2017 - 02:19
Zinedine Zidane remains unsure when Gareth Bale will be available for Real Madrid again but hopes it will be soon. We realise that we have four matches left, at the beginning of the season we had 50 games left.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top ZeniMax Media Has Set its Sights on Samsung in New VR Lawsuit
May 17, 2017 - 02:15
The original lawsuit claimed that Carmack stole documents and source code that ended up being used in the Oculus Rift . He is said to be responsible for the Gear VR headset in large part; it is described as being powered by Oculus .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Atheists File Suit Against Trump's 'Religious Liberty' Executive Order
May 17, 2017 - 02:09
The order directs the IRS to exercise maximum enforcement discretion to alleviate the burden of the so-called Johnson Amendment . David Sickelka, senior minister at Urbandale United Church of Christ, think it could only create more divide and discrimination.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Veteran journalist Javier Valdez killed in Mexico's Sinaloa
May 17, 2017 - 01:51
He had published his latest book in January called "Mala Yerba", or "Bad Grass" which described life under the narco gangs. Journalists who worked with him said he kept his sense of humor despite the pressures of his job.

Texas university cancels GOP senator's speech on student petition
May 17, 2017 - 01:39
White House sources told Fox News that Cornyn is one of 11 people being considered by the President to replace Comey. I have no evidence of collusion, but the president needs to back off here and let the investigation go forward.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top 'Dr Phil' to air 2nd interview with Hernandez's fiancee
May 16, 2017 - 10:24
According to Jenkins-Hernandez, there were no red flags in his behavior leading up to his death. She said he wasn't a gang member, but conceded that she would not have known if he were.

Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs win in National Basketball Association play-offs
May 16, 2017 - 10:22
All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry missed the game with an ankle injury, leaving a gaping hole in Toronto's attack. After making 14 of 41 three-point attempts in Game 1 , the Cavs went 18-of-33 from behind the arc in Game 2 .

No second spike in cyber attacks is 'encouraging': British minister
May 16, 2017 - 10:20
Barts Health, which runs the hospital, was among a fifth of the country's NHS trusts to have its computers infected by ransomware. Australian organisations will return to work as the local fallout from the weekend's global cyber attack becomes clearer.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Steve Kerr delivered a motivational halftime speech in the Warriors locker room
May 16, 2017 - 10:09
While assistant coach Mack Brown was on the bench for Game 1 on Sunday, Kerr watched the game from the Dubs locker room. Afterward he said Kerr's speech meant a lot.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Pakistan challenges ICJ jurisdiction over Jyadav's conviction
May 16, 2017 - 10:08
India immediately sought consular access to Jadhav. "Else, it will be a violation of the Vienna Convention", Harish Salve said. "We believe India and Pakistan stand to benefit from practical cooperation", a State Department spokesperson told PTI.

New York Knicks: 2017 NBA Draft Lottery odds
May 16, 2017 - 10:01
None of the Pistons' miscues were worse than in 2003, when they made Darko Milicic the second overall pick in a talent-rich draft. As such, if the Philadelphia 76ers did not receive that year, they would receive in a later draft.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top John Wall's Last Second Three-Pointer Gives Wizards Game 6
May 15, 2017 - 01:16
Game 7 now heads back to Boston a chance to set a date with the well rested Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Thomas and Avery Bradley finished with 27 points apiece for the Celtics and Horford scored 20 points and grabbed six rebounds.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top France's Emmanuel Macron takes power, vows to overcome division
May 15, 2017 - 01:03
A president who has said he is "neither of the right, nor of the left" pledged to "give back the French their self-confidence". Following the inauguration, Macron laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in remembrance of World War I.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Day after Comey firing, Sean Spicer to miss White House briefing
May 15, 2017 - 01:00
Third, there is no reason to think that White House press releases would be more accurate than comments from the briefing podium. Remember that Mr Spicer used to be the man tasked with dressing as the Easter rabbit during the Bush years.