Remote Pacific island with no population is covered in trash

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RESTRICTIONS: NONE

One of the most isolated and inaccessible islands on the planet is covered in our garbage — despite being uninhabited.

Henderson Island is a remote atoll located on the western edge of a circular system of ocean currents known as the South Pacific Gyre.

The British Overseas Territory was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988. At the time, UNESCO said its near-pristine ecosystem was of immense value for science.

However, researchers writing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences say the island has the highest density of plastic waste in the world.

Some 38 million pieces of garbage have washed up on Henderson Island’s once pristine sands. Analysis of the trash shows it was carried there from China, Japan, South America, Europe, the U.S. and Russia.

The researchers estimate that 3,500 pieces of trash wash up on the island daily, and typically include household items made of plastic such as toothbrushes, plastic bags and plastic razors.

Wildlife, including turtles and crabs, have been impacted by the garbage that has been dumped on the island’s shores, according to researchers.

Trying to clean the island’s beaches would be pointless because of the lack of visitors and sheer volume of trash that washes up there daily, report co-author Alex Bond told the Washington Post.

He advised people to use alternatives to plastic, such as bamboo toothbrushes and canvas carrier bags, and to bring your own mug to coffee shops.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Depiction of South Pacific Gyre
2. Location of UNESCO World Heritage site, Henderson Island
3. Depiction of trash on beach and where it comes from
4. Depiction of daily amount of trash arriving on beach and what it consists of

VOICEOVER (in English):

“Henderson Island is a remote atoll located on the western edge of a circular system of ocean currents known as the South Pacific Gyre.”

“Named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988, the island is uninhabited. However, researchers say it has the highest density of plastic waste in the world.”

“Some 38 million pieces of garbage have washed up on Henderson Island’s once pristine sands. Analysis of the trash shows it was carried there from Asia, South America, Europe, the U.S. and Russia.”

“Researchers estimate that 3,500 pieces of trash wash up on the island daily, and typically include household items made of plastic.”

SOURCES: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington Post
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http://wapo.st/2qtViNI