Alarming photos of the uninhabited island that’s home to 37 million pieces of trash

Jennifer Lavers Henderson Island East Beach

A small island smack in the middle of the South Pacific has never been inhabited by people — and yet, its white sand beaches are home to more than 37 million pieces of junk.

Every day on Henderson Island — one of the most remote places on Earth — trash from every continent except Antarctica washes up its shores. Fishing nets and floats, water bottles, and plastics break into small particles against the rocks and sand.

In 2015, Jennifer Lavers, a researcher at the University of Tasmania, traveled to Henderson in an effort to document the extent of plastics pollution. Her research paper has since gone viral.

Lavers shared images from her trip with us. 

SEE ALSO: See how Treece, Kansas, went from mining boom town to toxic wasteland in 96 years

Jennifer Lavers first saw Henderson Island in Google Street View. She’s been documenting islands-turned-junkyards for years. Henderson was the epitome of the phenomenon.

Few humans have set foot on the island, which lies halfway between New Zealand and South America, 71 miles away from the nearest settlement. To get there, Lavers joined a freight ship traveling from New Zealand and asked it to change course for Henderson.

When she arrived, it felt “a bit like being the first to land on the moon,” Lavers told Business Insider. It became immediately clear that something on Henderson was awry.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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