Henderson Island: 18 tons of plastic turning world heritage site to the highest polluted places
Sustainable Development Goals: 7, 12, 13
- SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
- SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
- SDG 13 - Climate Action
Extensive stretches of plastic waste spread on a remote Henderson Island through the waves that swept the remains ashore, bringing about 18 tons of plastic litter on uninhabited Island, between New Zealand and Peru in the Pacific Ocean.
According to the daily Mail, the distant island was an impeccable paradise because of its isolation from 3,400 miles of ocean in either direction, which in 1988 became a UNESCO-protected global heritage because of its remarkable biodiversity and long sandy beaches.
Henderson Island beach
However, Henderson Island has reached the highest level of man-made pollution found anywhere in the world, becoming one of the highest concentrations of plastics on the planet due to currents on the ocean.
There are 38 million pieces of plastic garbage on the island and more are being drifted to the beach at a rate of up to 3,500 pieces a day. Scientists have warned of the big problem the island is experiencing.
“We found debris from almost everywhere,” said Jennifer Lavers, an Australian researcher who led an exploratory trip. “We had bottles, containers and all kinds of fishing tools”.
Henderson is located in the middle of the South Pacific whirlpool, a vast circular ocean current down the east coast of Australia to the west coast of South America.