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Planet or plastic?

May 16, 2018
National Geographic /

Henderson Island is a tiny, uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 3,000 miles from major population centers. Though it is half the size of Manhattan, more than 19 tons of trash litter its white, sandy beaches.

Researchers estimate that it has the highest concentration of debris of any place in the world, for a total of over 37 million pieces on the entirety of the small island. For every square meter you walk, on average you’ll find 672 pieces of trash. For each visible piece of debris on the beach in the video above, two pieces are buried in the sand. How does so much trash wash ashore on Henderson Island?