One of the World’S Remotest Islands is the Most Polluted: Study (Download PDF)

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One of the world’s most remote islands is polluted with the highest density of plastic debris reported anywhere on the planet, with over 37 million pieces littered on its beaches, a new study has found. Uninhabited piece of land in the South Pacific Ocean.

Image of Henderson Island Oean

Image of Henderson Island Oean

Henderson Island Oean


  • Uninhabited and located more than 5,000 kilometers from the nearest major population centre.
  • Henderson Island is so remote that it’s visited only every five to 10 years.
  • Listed as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.
  • 37.7 million pieces of plastic — amounting to 17 tons of plastic debris — litter the beaches of Henderson Island.
  • During the most recent scientific expedition to the island led by the British nature conservation charity RSPB.
  • Found the beaches littered by up to 671 items per square Metre, the highest density ever recorded.
  • Henderson Island is a shocking but typical example of how plastic debris is affecting the environment on a global scale.
  • Study published in the journal PNAS.
  • Henderson Island’s polluted beaches show that there is no escaping plastic pollution.
  • More than 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year.
  • Sixty-eight per cent of the plastic was buried under 10cm of sand.
  • Jennifer Lavers of the University of Tasmania and Alexander Bond of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds carried out the landmark research project
  • Dr. Lavers told the Daily Mail that she had studied marine plastics on remote islands for the best part of a decade.
  • The big population centres of:
Image of big population centres

Image of Big Population Centres

Image of big population centres

- Published/Last Modified on: May 21, 2017

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