Thursday, 22 March 2018

In The Center Of The Picture,

Henderson Island,

 Henderson Island is about the most remote place you can visit without leaving the planet, it sits squarely in the middle of the South Pacific, 3,500 miles from New Zealand in one direction and another 3,500 miles from South America in the other, to get there, you have to fly from Tasmania to Tahiti, catch a small, once-a-week plane to the Gambier Islands, join a freight ship that had already sailed for 10 days from New Zealand, and ask it to change course for Henderson, no ship travels there unless you specifically ask it to, it is uninhabited, tourists don’t go there, there’s no one around to drop any litter, the whole place was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1988, the nearest settlement is 71 miles away, and has just 40 people on it, so the beaches should be pristine, but they are not,

this is one of the beaches on the island, Jennifer Lavers made the trip, “it’s truly one of the last paradises left on earth, and one of the least visited but heavily protected bits of land on the planet,” Lavers says, “But I don’t think I’ve stood somewhere and been so utterly and completely surrounded by plastic.” Lavers, a researcher at the University of Hobart, has been documenting the extent of plastic pollution on the world’s far-flung islands for years, She and her colleagues, including Alexander Bond from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, arrived on Henderson in 2015, and spent three months counting its junk, the island’s 14 square miles are home to more than 37 million pieces of junk, weighing a total of 17,000 kilograms, every square meter of Henderson’s beaches has between 20 and 670 pieces of plastic on the surface and between 50 and 4,500 pieces buried in the topmost 10 centimeters, also, the junk keeps on coming, Lavers estimates that every day, at least 3,750 fresh pieces of litter wash up on the island’s north beach—an accumulation rate that’s 100,000 times greater than what’s been reported at other places, and here is a sobering fact, “The total junk on Henderson—all 17,000 kilograms of it—represents just 2 seconds of the world’s plastic production.” for a depressing read about how plastic is taking over our world have a look here.

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