Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Remote island has "world's worst" plastic rubbish density

Island Paradise? What are we doing to this world?

An uninhabited island in the South Pacific is littered with the highest density of plastic waste anywhere in the world, according to a study.

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.

"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."

The condition of the island highlighted how plastic debris has affected the environment on a global scale, Dr Lavers said. "Almost every island in the world and almost every species in the ocean is now being shown to be impacted one way or another by our waste," she said. "There's not really any one person or any one country that gets a free pass on this." She said plastic was devastating to oceans because it was buoyant and durable.