Jan 19, 2019 | Updated: 08:39 AM EST

Henderson Island, One Of The Remote Islands In The World, Is Facing Severe Pollution From Plastic Debris

May 16, 2017 01:21 PM EDT


Henderson Island is one of the remote islands on earth that is polluted with a huge amount of plastic debris. It is a surprising truth for this uninhabited place.

According to Phys.org, Henderson Island is 5000 km away from the nearest population center. A recent report unveils that the island is covered with an approximately 37.7 million plastic pieces. No doubt the fact is quite alarming.

The Henderson Island belongs to the Pitcairn Islands territory of the UK. Interestingly, this remote area is only visited to serve the research purpose once in every five to ten years. But, the crucial fact is the island is very close to the center of the south Pacific Gyre ocean current. This makes the place as the focal point for the plastic debris deposited by the fishing boats or carried from the South America.

Dr. Jennifer Lavers, the IMAS researcher and lead author of the study, uttered significantly about the findings of a recent expedition to the Henderson Island. The expedition was led by the RSPB, a UK charity that works significantly to secure a healthy environment. Dr. Lavers noticed that per square meter area of the island's beaches is littered with 671 items. Shockingly, this density of the plastic debris was the highest recorded so far any place in the world.

Popular journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported this study. Now Dr. Lavers opined that Henderson Island makes it clear that even a distant place from the oceans can't escape the plastic pollution. The island shows how the plastic debris plays a significant role in polluting the environment.

The recent sampling of this research study at the five sites on the Henderson Island has revealed some alarming fact. The study shows that more than 17 tons of the plastic debris have already been deposited on this island. Dr. Jennifer Lavers said that every day above 3570 pieces of fresh litter is deposited on one beach alone.

Every year above 300 million tons of plastics are produced, but not recycled, which ultimately creates a major impact on the oceans. Plastic debris on beaches is responsible for the creation of the physical barrier to animals like sea turtles. Research unveils that species above 200 are at risk after consuming plastic. Even 55 percent seabirds of the world that includes two species present in the Henderson Island are also facing the risk of marine debris.

The plastic production increases rapidly all over the world. No doubt this will affect the natural beauty and the biodiversity of the remote islands. The current condition of the Henderson Island is an example of this truth.

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