Remote Pacific island found buried under tonnes of plastic waste

The Extinction Chronicles

Plastic pollution on beach
Plastic in paradise

Michael Brooke/Alamy Stock Phot

Nowhere is safe from plastic. A tiny South Pacific island 5000 kilometres from the nearest human occupation has the highest density of washed-up plastic rubbish known anywhere in the world.

Henderson Island is an uninhabited, 5-kilometre-wide speck of land halfway between Australia and South America. A recent expedition led by Jennifer Lavers at the University of Tasmania in Australia found 38 million items of rubbish weighing a total of 18 tonnes spread across its beaches.

Until recently, a major build-up of marine plastic was thought to mainly affect the North Pacific Ocean, where a swirling current called the North Pacific Gyre traps floating debris to form the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

But in 2013, a similar garbage patch was reported in the South Pacific. This patch is also delineated by a circular current, called the South Pacific Gyre.

View original post 405 more words


2 thoughts on “Remote Pacific island found buried under tonnes of plastic waste

  1. This is one of my pet peeves. Why can’t we pick up our own trash? This island is uninhabited, and looks terrible with all the garbage everywhere. The Himalayas are the same way, from what I’ve read. Mind-boggling.

    Plastics, being derived from petroleum, are an energy source. Some places burn trash to covert to electricity, such as my town, the rates are cheap and affordable, and modern methods are much better for air quality. Since we are intent on burning fossil fuels for our energy needs anyway, and our trash would seem to be an inexhaustible resource, why are we not using it? It would do two things – provide a constantly renewable energy source and keep our communities and the planet clean and beautiful. Instead, we prefer to dig new holes in the ground and ocean floor. I guess BP and Exxon don’t become multi-billion dollar companies by burning trash.

    But that’s humans for you – industriously cutting down trees and digging holes in the ground must be a part of our DNA.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: