Remote Island found littered with plastic debris

Remote Island found littered with plastic debris

A new study by a team of Australian and British researchers has revealed that a remote, uninhabited island in the South Pacific has the world’s worst plastic rubbish density.

The researchers found an estimated 37.7 million pieces of rubbish on the beaches of Henderson Island, which is part of the United Kingdom’s Pitcairn Islands group.

According to the joint Australian and British study, the debris amounted to 671 items per square meter, with the total reaching 17 tones. The study also estimated that the beaches of the island are littered with the highest density of plastic debris in the world.

Dr. Jennifer Lavers of University of Tasmania said, “A lot of the items on Henderson Island are what we wrongly refer to as disposable or single-use. Land crabs are making their homes inside bottle caps, containers and jars … this plastic is old, it's sharp, it's brittle and toxic.”

The long list of plastic debris includes fishing items, and everyday things like razors, toothbrushes and cigarette lighters.

The researchers detailed their findings in the latest edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.