Plastic garbage is gaining more and more ground in the oceans and affects millions of marine species. It is estimated that every year 8 million tons of plastic ends up in the world’s oceanswhich is equivalent to five plastic bags for every square meter of beach in the world.
But nowhere on the planet has a higher density of plastic debris than Henderson Island, which belongs to the Pitcairn Islands, a British archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. The island makes up most of the archipelago, and contains 17 tons of plastic garbage.
Henderson is 37 square kilometers in area, so this amount of plastic means there is 671 pieces of garbage per square meter of the islandaccording to a study published by the American scientific journal PNAS.
But at Henderson the waste isn’t deliberately transported, it floats in from the ocean. It is estimated that every day another 3,570 pieces of waste arrive.
The island is located near the South Pacific gyre, a huge air current that gathers tons of plastic waste coming from ships or from South America.
Although Henderson is more than 5,000 kilometers from the nearest landmass, contains about 38 million individual plastic debrismore than 1 million for each square kilometer.
The garbage is diverse: containers, fishing buoys, nets, toothbrushes, lighters and more. Despite the overwhelming statistics surrounding the island’s reputation, Henderson is just a tiny part of the problem..
It is estimated that, in the 1950s, the production of plastic was less than two million total tons, but in 2014 it already exceeded 300 million tons worldwide. The entire world is being consumed by plastic garbage, and nothing indicates that the trend will change in the near future.
Plastic is forever.
What happens when you throw plastic? Dylan D’Haeze, a 13-year-old filmmaker from the San Juan Islands, decided to find out.
To do this, he followed the plastic garbage to its final destination: the ocean. Which, has become an involuntary landfill that transports millions of pieces of plastic waste along the coasts of the whole world, which finally end up on our plates when they are ingested by the fish we consume.
“Plastic Is Forever” explores the history and science of plastics, which do not break down in nature.
What can we do about it?
Watch the documentary “Plastic Is Forever” completely FREE on the conscience streaming platform GAIA