Henderson Island we have learnt this week is not only one of the most remote places on earth but possibly one of the most polluted. Henderson Island is an uninhabited overseas British territory which is part of the Pitcairn group where the mutineers from the bounty hid out. Scientists did a survey in 2015 and found 18 tonnes of plastic on the islands. This does not sound that much but its the highest density found anywhere and looks totally shocking in the pictures. The saddest one was of a hermit crab making its home in a bit of plastic.
With recent reports detailing plastic waste at the bottom of the Marina trench and widespread PCB pollution in marine life we are starting to realise that some of the environmental problems we have unthinkingly caused are going to be very complicated to clear up – not to say expensive.
I’m trying to collect plastic outside and minimise my use but its still very difficult to do. So much of our foodstuffs are packed in it. There was a big debate about plastic versus paper bags a few years ago. The proponents of plastic were strongly arguing that paper bags took more energy to make. However at least they rot and don’t end somewhere as pristine as Henderson Island.