This Uninhabited Island in the South Pacific Island Has the World’s Highest Density of Trash Today

No human has set foot on the island for 600 years, but it is filled with tons of man-made trash.

The world is slowly dying after humans have filled its land and waters with trash. While we think that recycling is enough to save the world, what happened to this island will open your eyes to the reality of how trash is literally taking over the world.

Located in the South Pacific, halfway between New Zealand and Chile, Henderson Island now has the world’s highest density of trash. Though the island has been uninhabited for more than 600 years, the island is filled with man-made trash—all 18 tons of them.

All the trash has been collected across global seas until it was swept into the South Pacific gyre a circular ocean current that functions like a conveyor belt, collecting plastic trash and depositing it onto tiny Henderson’s shore at a rate of about 3,500 pieces a day.

“Although alarming, these values underestimate the true amount of debris, because items buried 10 cm below the surface and particles less than 2 mm and debris along cliff areas and rocky coastlines could not be sampled,” Lavers, a scientist at Australia’s University of Tasmania, and a colleague, wrote in their study.

Lavers said the most common items they found were cigarette lighters and toothbrushes. One of the strangest was a baby pacifier.

She said they found a sea turtle that had died after getting caught in an abandoned fishing net and a crab that was living in a cosmetics container. Some of the trash consists of fishing nets and floats, water bottles, helmets, and large, rectangular pieces of plastic.

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