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Island in Pacific Ocean for Garbage Only - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Washington, London- In Henderson Island, humans do not exist. Yet, the density of trash is the highest recorded anywhere in the world. The uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is littered with over 38 million plastic pieces of trash weighing an estimated 17.6 tons.

Every day, 27 additional pieces are being added in each square meter. In a study they published in the “Proceedings” magazine of the National Academy of Sciences, two researchers said the remote island has become a container for the accumulation of plastic garbage from across the world.

The researchers found the plastics on the beach. Much of the dump is buried in the sand. Henderson Island, which makes part of the so-called Pitcairn Islands, is a UNESCO World Heritage Listed site for its distinguished beauty and its ecology practically untouched by humans.

In fact, this island looks like it was taken from an illustration book, with its sandy beaches, coconut trees, and the virgin nature.

However, the study conducted by Jennifer Lavers from the University of Tasmania and Alexander Bond from UK’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds showed that the island is not virgin at all when taking a closer look at it.

Between May and August 2015, the two researchers counted the plastic pieces found in the sand down to a depth of 10cm in many spots in the island.

Researchers concluded that no place on earth features this density of waste. They found fishing tools, including nets, floating buoys, and threads along with lollipop sticks, toothbrushes, straws, and plastic eating utensils.

The researchers found over 670 plastic pieces on every square meter in the island. However, the biggest part of the garbage is still buried, as the study looked only at the depth of the first 10cm under the sand.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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