Researchers discovered that trash reached even the most remote places on Earth. Henderson Island, an uninhabited piece of land situated in the South Pacific, somewhere between New Zealand and Chile, was overflowed by almost 38 million pieces of plastic. The University of Tasmania developed a study which analyzed this phenomenon.
Plastic pollution is a global problem
This remote island is situated 5,000 kilometers away from any human population. Nevertheless, pollution reached its beaches. This shows how the currents of the Pacific Ocean were able to carry plastic waste over such huge distances. It takes a lot of time for plastic to degrade, so debris remains intact and can pollute even remote areas.
The discovery should act as a warning, as no places in our oceans are safe from plastic pollution. Henderson Island, for instance, is visited once every five or ten years only by researchers. However, its position in the center of the South Pacific Gyre ocean allows for the accumulation of plastic debris from vessels.
Henderson Island is invaded by thousands of pieces of plastic every day
During the latest visit, researchers discovered how Henderson Island’s beaches housed 671 pieces of plastic per square meter. After analyzing samples from five main sites, they discovered around 17 tons of pieces of waste larger than two millimeters, and saw how 3570 new pieces reached the beaches every day.
Therefore, instead of being untouched and pristine, the remote island is the best example of how pollution affects us globally. Plastic waste affects the ecosystem, as marine creatures are at risk of ingesting or getting entangled in it. Also, it reduces the diversity of species, and prevents creatures from reaching the beaches, as it works as a strong physical barrier.
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