Debris on Cocos( Keeling) Islands was mostly bottles, cutlery, suitcases and straws, but also included 977,000 shoes, study says
On the beaches of the tiny Cocos( Keeling) Islands, population 600, marine scientists saw 977,000 shoes and 373,000 toothbrushes.
A comprehensive survey of debris on the islands- among the most remote places on Earth, in the Indian Ocean- has observed a staggering quantity of rubbish washed ashore. This included 414 m pieces of plastic, weighing 238 tonnes.
The study, published in the journal Nature, concluded the volume of dusts points to the exponential increase of global plastic polluting the world’s oceans and” highlights a worrying tendency in the production and discharge of single-use products “.
The lead author, Jennifer Lavers from the University of Tasmania’s Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, said remote islands without large populations were the most effective indicator of the amount of plastic rubbles floating in the oceans.
” Islands such as these are like canaries in a coal mine and it’s increasingly urgent that we act on the warns they are giving us. Plastic pollution is now ubiquitous in our oceans, and remote islands are an ideal place to get an objective view of the volume of plastic debris now circling countries around the world ,” Lavers said.
The study detected the quantity of debris buried up to 10 cm beneath the beach was 26 times greater than the amount visible; that previous surveys that merely assessed surface garbage might have” drastically underestimated the scale of debris accumulation “.
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